Author: Sunhawk

Obligations (cont)

Chezarina laughed out loud and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she'd done most of the cooking. Relena was being very subdued and I wondered what they had spent the morning talking about.

The meal started out easily enough, we were able to do the 'pass this', 'pass that' thing for a bit and then there was the complimenting the cook part. It really was very good, a simple casserole with potatoes and diced chicken.

Then something seemed to pass between Heero and Chezarina and she turned to me with an odd smile. "So... all the portraits are of real people?"

I flushed and thought I was going to choke on my lunch. "Uhmmm... Yeah," I confirmed when I could swallow.

"Who are the Priest and the Nun?" she asked and I swear to God the look on her face was just a little too innocent to be real.

"Father Maxwell and Sister Helen," I breathed and tried to catch Heero's eye but he was studiously eyeing his plate. "They ran the orphanage where I... spent a couple of years." I stirred my potatoes around and just prayed that she didn't ask what happened to them, I really didn't want to get into it.

"Maxwell?" she asked brightly. "Is that where you took your name from?"

"Y... yes," I confirmed, my stomach starting to knot as I waited for her to get around to asking the next question. I didn't know that I could sit here and talk about the massacre.

"He was a darn tall man," she commented and it was so not the comment I had been expecting that I laughed.

"Well... I suspect he might not have been as tall as that," I grinned at her, "but when we were kids he seemed like a giant to us!"

"He has a kindly face," she remarked and I suddenly realized she and Heero were trying to turn them in to real people for Relena.

"He was damn scary looking when we got in trouble." I laughed and decided maybe I could play their game. "I'm afraid I had a penchant for getting into fights that usually ended with me polishing the brass railings." I didn't mention that I was usually in those fights trying to defend the little ones from the whole wide world. Trying to fill Solo's shoes.

Chezarina laughed with a twinkle in her eye. "I imagine they were the shiniest railings on L2."

She won a true laugh from me and I looked up to finally find Heero's eyes, he gave me a small, almost imperceptible nod of encouragement. "I imagine they were," I chuckled. "What Father didn't understand was that I didn't really mind polishing them because Sister Helen liked to see them all shiny and bright." My smile turned melancholy despite myself. "We all adored her... we'd do anything to make her happy." I snickered, "It was kind of bizarre when you got right down to it; we dreaded 'the look' we'd get from Father Maxwell... and the lecture, of course. But then after we were done with the punishment, we got the reward of hugs from Sister Helen." I shook my head in remembrance and continued to push potatoes around.

"What... what happened to them?" The question was like a blow to the gut. More so, because I had let my guard down, trusting that Heero had warned Chezarina not to ask it. I couldn't remember that I had told Heero the story but somehow with the other things that I had spilled to him in my fever dream, I had little doubt that he knew at least the gist of it. They had apparently not taken Relena into account when they had hatched this little plot to un-bastardize me. I saw Heero's face go still and he opened his mouth but I stopped him with a raised hand.

"It's all right, Heero," I told him softly but I could tell from the look in his eyes that he could see in my face that it wasn't. Well, it wasn't her fault; they had started this. No one had told Relena that the question wasn't askable.

I looked up at her and only saw guarded curiosity on her face. "There were... skirmishes all over L2 at the time." I took a sip from my juice bulb because my throat was suddenly dry. "Rebels broke into the church and it was... destroyed when the Federation came after them. They... were killed during the fighting."

I saw a flicker of what seemed to be true sympathy in her eyes and I was moved to reach and pat her hand. She flinched and I drew back without touching; I had forgotten my scars.

"I'm... sorry," she murmured and now she was pushing potatoes around on her plate. This wasn't going at all as planned, I suspected.

Chezarina looked just freaking miserable and Heero had a rather stricken expression on his face. I really couldn't read Relena. Something was clenching tight in my chest.

"You know... " I said after an uncomfortable moment, "Fuzzy-butt is a decent enough co-pilot but you have to watch him like a hawk or he veers off course. He's been looking for Ursa Major for the last year." It was ridiculously lame. On a better day I would have handled things just fine but after the last dozen hours, it was just a little too much. Too much raw edged emotion. Too many memories, some old and some not so damn old. I excused myself and headed for the cockpit to 'relieve' Fuzzy-butt. I trailed my hand down the wall as I went, letting my fingers brush over the images of my ghosts. As I reached the cockpit door and passed Solo, I heard the echo of his voice, "Get yer shit together rat-boy."

"I'm tryin' rat-king," I muttered and went in to the relative privacy of the cockpit to do just that.

"Minding your manners, Fuzzy-butt?" I murmured and picked the stupid thing up to hug to my chest. Damn, that had totally blindsided me. I should have realized that all these paintings and pictures were going to generate questions. I guess I had just become so focused on the incriminating new one in the cargo bay that I had kind of forgotten about all the others. I rubbed my cheek against the well-worn, familiar fur and had to sigh. Fuzzy-butt and I were old comfort buddies. He wasn't a much better conversationalist than 'Demon' was but he listened pretty damn good.

There were suddenly warm hands on my shoulders and Heero's tender voice near my ear. "I believe that's my job he's doing, there."

He plucked the thing out of my arms and tossed it back in its seat, turning me around and tugging me into a fierce embrace. "I'm so sorry love... it never dawned on us that Relena would actually enter the conversation."

I muffled my laugh against his shoulder. "Well now; doesn't that just say a whole hell of a lot about our present situation?"

He wrapped me close, molding us together until it felt like he was all that was holding me up. I closed my eyes and let myself cling. "You hug way better than Fuzzy ever did," I murmured and pulled a chuckle out of him.

"I'm so very sorry," he told me for the second time. "I knew they were dead but I didn't know it was... like that."

I chuckled but there was no humor in it. "It's worse than that, love," I whispered and felt the familiar pain welling up. "It was my fault."

He didn't speak, just stroked a hand over my hair and held me close.

"One of these days," I sighed, "when we have some time alone... maybe I'll get drunk enough to tell you about it."

Oh God, Duo," he said then, his voice thick, "I'm so damn bad at this."

I squeezed him hard where my arms were wrapped around his waist. "You are not," I told him firmly. "Holding good. Touching good." I lifted my head from his shoulder to smile at him. "And stop apologizing."

"I don't want to hurt you," he said softly and I knew what a splinter that was under his skin.

I stopped him with a gentle kiss. "Now is not the time for this, love."

He sighed but nodded his agreement.

I slid reluctantly from his embrace. "I should probably go speak with Chezarina. She looked... a little upset."

Heero smiled ruefully. "I really feel sorry for the poor woman; I've had a couple of opportunities to talk with her. She really likes you and I think she would like to turn Relena across her knee. She really feels caught in the middle."

I had to stifle a laugh at the mental picture that comment dredged up and I related to him a little of what Paragon had said to me in the cargo bay.

He snorted and shook his head. "No pressure here." Then he glanced at his watch and sighed. "Do you mind if I use the radio? I need to check with Wufei about a few things I left hanging."

I mock glared at him. "Heero, you know damn well you don't have to ask my permission to use the stupid radio." I turned to leave the cockpit and glanced back at the last minute to see him settling into the pilot's seat, "And tell Wufei I said hi."

He grinned over his shoulder at me.

I found Chezarina in the galley cleaning up the dishes and I cursed myself under my breath.

"Hey, Milady," I grinned as I came into the room, "you are a guest aboard my ship; it's bad enough you did the cooking... I won't have you doing the dishes as well."

She flashed me a wan smile. "I don't mind, it gives me something to do," she murmured, looking at me as though she wanted to say something else.

I moved in and bodily shifted her away from the sanitizer and ushered her to sit at the table. "I am not such a cad that I would kidnap you and then use you as forced labor!" I intoned loftily and continued with the cleanup.

"Duo... " she ventured after a moment of watching me work, "I am so sorry... We were only... "

I cut her off with a grin. "I figured out what you two connivers were up to; you have nothing to apologize for."

"We should have talked to you first, so that it wasn't such a surprise." She frowned, thinking over the conversation again, I'm sure.

"No." I sighed, just wishing we didn't have to talk about this any more. "If I'd had time to think about what I was going to say... it probably would have come out sounding rehearsed and stilted. I'm the one who should be apologizing; I'm not normally so touchy about it. It's just been a kind of rough couple of days... "

I put the last of the plates away in the cabinet, locking them into their restraints; she was quiet until I was done. I turned and leaned against the counter to face her, giving her a chance to get whatever else she had on her mind out in the open. Might as well get this the hell over with.

"Rough?" she asked gently.

I sighed and scrubbed a hand over tired eyes. "Look, Chezarina... I'm not really sure how in the hell I got us all into this. I never intended to do that stupid interview." I had no doubt that the woman knew all the juicy details to this whole sordid affair. "Heero just kept pushing me... before I knew what my big mouth was doing, I had agreed under the condition that Relena said it was ok to publish pictures of that thrice-damned mural." I dropped my hand from my face and stared down at my scarred palms for a minute. "But... when Relena came onboard and saw the thing... she attacked it. Said that I had made the children up... " I stopped and looked up at her. "I just got so damn mad... "

She stood up and came to lay a hand on my arm, "I'm so sorry, Duo."

I snorted softly and flashed her the ghost of a grin. "Have I ever mentioned that my big mouth tends to get me hip deep more often than not?"

She chuckled. "I'll bet it gets you out of trouble as often as it gets you in," she observed dryly and I had to shake my head.

"She truly is not normally like this," she told me softly then. "She is a kind and compassionate woman. Her father sheltered her too much... there are just so many things that she's never known."

"I know that." I sighed, looking back down at my hands. "Heero cares for her. I trust his judgment... if he believes in her, then I believe in her." I grinned at her, trying to lighten the mood. "She just sure as hell doesn't make it easy."

She chuckled, mostly I think, because I wanted her to and very deliberately reached out to take one of my hands. One of my poor scarred hands. I looked up into her eyes, startled. She opened her mouth to speak but then there was a sound in the corridor that told us that we were no longer alone and she only smiled.

"I think I'm going to go back to our cabin," she said, a little too cheerfully. "I packed some books and I think I would just like to sit quietly for awhile and read."

"That sounds damn nice right about now," I agreed and she gave my hand a last pat before turning and heading toward the door.

I stood for a second and listened to the sound of... nothing. I really wished I could play my music. When I was out in space on a job, the music never stopped. Day or night, there was always something playing. I used it to adjust my mood, I used it to bolster myself when the memories came hunting, I used it to cover the silence.

Maybe I would just go to my cabin for awhile as well; I still had the works of Kipling to go through after all.

I don't know what made me glance to the right when I walked out that door. I really don't. Later, I would not be able to say if I heard something or just what it was that made my eyes flick in that direction. What I saw made my blood turn to ice and I was running hard that way even as my brain engaged and I was yelling, "Relena! Don't touch that!"

I saw her glance over her shoulder, the look on her face hardened and I knew in an instant that she thought I was just being pissy. She turned back to the controls to the cargo bay and reached defiantly for the button to open the door, punching at it savagely. I got to her just two seconds too damn late. All I could do was grab hold of her and hold on for dear life.

I don't pressurize the cargo bay if I'm not carrying cargo.

Relena yelped indignantly and struggled against my arm, almost making me miss my lunge for the zero gravity handhold over our heads. Then the alarms started to blare and we were suddenly in a wind tunnel as the door slid open. She screamed and all of a sudden I wasn't so damn repellent as the tornado winds ripped us from our feet.

I hadn't gotten a good hold of the metal rung that was the only thing keeping us from being swept into the icy, airless cargo bay, the best I had managed was to wedge my fist in it. I threw back my head and bellowed as best I could over the sound of the alarms and the rush of the wind, "Zarina! Stay in your cabin!"

My hold on Relena was precarious and I was probably bruising the hell out of her ribs trying to maintain my grip. She got a good solid handful of my shirt and hung on for dear life, eyes squeezed shut and trying to scream in the thin air.

"Heero!" I shouted for all I was worth, "the cargo door overrides! The cargo... " And the door was sliding shut. We dropped like puppets with the strings cut and I felt something pop in my wrist as we fell to the floor, and my arm twisted in the trap of the handgrip. I hissed in pain but it was lost in the sound of the alarms and Relena's hysterical weeping.

We were sprawled across the deck, tangled together like a couple of discarded rag dolls. She was sobbing, I was panting, the bulkhead under us was ice cold and I was willing to bet that it would take the ship's systems hours to adjust for the loss of air. The alarms had cut out when the door had slid home and my suddenly pounding head blessed the quiet for a change.

"Duo!" I heard the thunder of Heero's running steps through the bulkhead under me. "Duo, what the hell happened?"

Relena was trying to lever herself off me and I reached with my good hand to steady her by an elbow. "Relena, are you all right?" I managed but she only recoiled from my touch and almost fell on her ass beside me. I withdrew my hand and sighed. "Zarina! Are you all right?" I called, even as Heero was throwing himself down beside me on the floor.

"Can I come out now?" I heard her voice, slightly muffled with distance.

"Yes, please." I called again. "Rel... Miss Peacecraft needs you."

"Duo?" Heero's voice was damn near shaking, "Are you ok?"

"I'm ok.... " I muttered, just trying to concentrate on getting my heartbeat back under control. "Is Relena hurt?"

He never even looked at her. "No." His fingers were stroking over my head, checking to see if I'd hit it. "You're in pain. What's wrong?"

Chezarina came down the corridor on the run then, gathering Relena up like a small child. "It's all right now, my little poppet," she whispered gently and I swear to God Relena only started to cry harder. "Are you hurt?"

Relena shook her head and words tried to come out around the broken sobbing, "I didn't know... I just wanted... "

"What the hell did you think the damn red warning light was?" Heero snapped at her and I saw her cringe. Guess he figured out what had happened. Chezarina looked up at Heero, shock clear on her face.

"Heero!" I warned and his eyes came back to find me, completely dismissing them. I saw the fire of his fierce protectiveness and it made me shiver. "It was my fault." I told him. "She's never been aboard anything but the commercial shuttles before. I should have gone over the safety rules with her."

His anger seemed to deflate a little and his eyes were searching me almost desperately. "You're hurt," he reiterated. I caught Chezarina's eye and nodded for her to take Relena back to their cabin. She drew her away and I waited until they were around the corner before letting myself relax back onto the floor with a sigh, cradling my throbbing arm to my chest. "I... think I broke my wrist," I finally told him and he hissed through clenched teeth.

"Damn it."

"It has been something of a sucky day," I told him with a smile but he would have nothing to do with my joking. Before I quite knew what he was doing, he had me caught up in his arms, lifting me as though I were little more than the rag doll I had compared us too earlier.

"Heero... " I scolded, "I fail to see what a broken wrist has to do with walking."

"Just shut up," he growled and when I let myself, I could feel the trembling in his arms, could see the thunder of his pulse in his throat.

"It's all right, love," I told him gently. "Just calm down... it's all over."

He didn't speak again until he had me in our cabin and stretched out on the bed. "Let me see,' he told me and took my arm in his hands, running his fingers over the wrist until I winced and bit back a cry.

"That... " I hissed, "would be the place."

He went to get the med-kit and when he came back, he seemed a little more under control. I kept my comments to myself while he worked; just let him fuss over me until he seemed to settle some.

"I think it might be fractured," he told me after a bit. "We're going to have to have it x-rayed as soon as we get to the colony."

I watched him working over it, his hands moving deftly and it took me back to the war years with a start. We locked eyes for a moment, "Uhmmm... Nice field dressing," I mumbled and knew that he was in that same place.

"Heero," I ventured when he had it wrapped and was setting a cold pack gently around it, "we need to go check on Relena."

"I will... go apologize when I am done with you," he murmured, not meeting my eyes.

"I really am at fault, Heero," I told him firmly. "I should have gone over things with them... I let the fact that she doesn't like me keep me from doing my damn job."

He sighed, putting the finishing touches on my binding. "I should have handled it," he said. "I know how the two of you feel about each other." He managed to dredge up a rather sad little smile for my benefit. "You did task me with the care and feeding of our passengers, after all."

I chuckled for him and raised my good arm. "I wouldn't object overly much if you felt the need to, you know, hold me for a minute."

I thought he would give me whiplash pulling me up and into his arms; the icepack fell away, forgotten for the moment.

"Damn it, Duo," he murmured against my hair, "I could just shake her! What in the hell was she thinking?"

"I imagine she was just going to look at that stupid painting again," I told him gently. "She really didn't realize, Heero. She came as close to getting killed as I did."

That might not have been the best thing to say right at that moment, because his arms tightened around me almost convulsively, until I found breath something of a struggle. I awkwardly stroked his hair with my good hand and let him ride through the fear.

"I love you so much," he whispered against the top of my head when he could again and I gently kissed the side of his neck, the only thing his embrace would let me reach.

"I'm all right, love. Everything is going to be ok," I whispered against his shoulder, suddenly just very damn tired.

He seemed to feel some change in me, maybe he felt the shakiness that was coming over me because he eased me out of his embrace and lay me back down on the bed.

"Heero... we have to go check on our passengers," I told him sternly, even though all I really wanted in that moment was to lie down and go to sleep for a little while.

He was rummaging in the med-kit again and came up with the pain pills. I could tell there was just no arguing with him. I swear half his hovering was generated by the earlier fiasco over lunch; he was still feeling so guilty about setting me up to have the Maxwell church thing thrown in my face that it was about to kill him. I dutifully swallowed a couple of the pills, mostly just to make him feel better.

"I will go check on them," he told me firmly. "You are going to rest for a bit."

"Heero... " I complained, starting to get frustrated, "it's a fractured wrist... not a sucking chest wound!"

He frowned down at me and moved to lay his hand on my forehead. "You've been pushing yourself too hard," he told me. "You're still recovering your strength... this trip wasn't supposed to be this stressful."

I rolled my eyes and opened my mouth to ask him just how in the hell he thought a trip that involved locking me and the personable Miss Peacecraft in the same spaceship was going to not be stressful, when there came a quiet, "Excuse us?" from the door to the cabin.

We both looked up, startled, and there were Chezarina and Relena in the doorway. Relena seemed to have gotten her shit together, though her face was a little puffy and red. Chezarina seemed totally nonplussed; as though she dealt with crap like this everyday. And who knew, maybe things were more exciting in the Sanc household than one would have thought.

"Ladies?" I greeted them and tried to lever myself up on one elbow. Unfortunately, my left side had the sprained/fractured/whateverthehell wrist and I couldn't manage it. So I had to endure laying there flat on my back with the three of them hovering over them.

I caught Relena looking at her shoes and discreetly tucked my hands under the covers.

"Relen... " I grimaced, I was going to have to stop thinking of her as Relena to keep myself from making that slip, "Uhmm... Miss Peacecraft; are you all right?"

She nodded but still seemed to have trouble making herself look up at either one of us, Chezarina seemed to prod at her mentally somehow and she stepped a bit further into the room. "I... I am very sorry. I only meant to go look at the painting again." Her eyes flicked toward Chezarina for a moment. "Everyone else seems to see something in it that... " Her voice faded before she got much further with that thought. "I honestly didn't realize the danger." She turned her gaze on Heero then and I realized how much his yelling at her must have stung but he was still in full guardian mode and she got little more than a glare from him. I jabbed him lightly with my knee but only got the glare turned on me.

"I'm the one who should be apologizing," I told her, since he didn't seem about to unbend enough right now to do it. "I live with these things everyday and I forget that the whole world is not full of spacers. I should have gone over things with the both of you."

"Are you all right, Duo?" Chezarina asked then and I quirked her a reassuring grin.

"Depends on whether you ask me or Heero!" I chuckled and got a glare from my significant other.

"He may have broken his wrist," Heero said sullenly, as though I'd done it on purpose somehow.

"Well it beat the hell out of the alternative!" I laughed at him and suddenly realized that I was feeling almost no pain and felt oddly relaxed.

Chezarina looked a little shocked. "You broke your arm?" she asked, eyes wide, "What are we going to do?"

I snickered. "Heero already took care of it," I told her, pulling that arm out from under the blanket to show her his handy-work. "The five of us got fairly good at patching each other up during the war." My voice sounded funny and I looked at Heero to find him smiling affectionately down at me. "You asshole." I blurted. "That wasn't a God damn pain pill... what the hell did you give me?"

He reached to brush my hair from my face. "One of them was a pain pill; the second one was a sedative."

"I'm gonna kick your ass," I muttered.

"But not for a couple of hours." And his soft smile was the last thing I was aware of.

I woke with my wrist throbbing dully, my mouth tasting like cotton and with an overwhelming desire to knock Heero and Relena's heads together.

The first thing I did was drag my ass out of bed and go to find my old gloves. My left hand was pretty much swathed in bindings already but the least I could do was cover the right one as well. My scars were obviously more than Relena could handle. No point in making the poor girl any more uncomfortable than she already was. I made a quick trip to the head to use the facilities and splash a little water on my face, then went to see what the rest of the world had been up to while I was... sedated.

I had to repress a shiver as I made my way through the silent corridors. I really wished I dared turn my music on; the damn silence was eating at me like a cancer. I really hated it.

I went to the cockpit first and checked my course and heading, and found the message light blinking. I hit the play button and was greeted with Wufei's highly agitated voice. "Yuy! You damn well better get back to me and tell me what the hell is going on out there!" There was some incoherent Chinese cursing then and I had to chuckle. Heero had, apparently, been in the middle of his call when the alarms had gone off.

I trudged off toward the galley, about the only place left where he might be holed up, grinning from ear to ear. He was indeed there, working on dinner with Chezarina. Relena was nowhere in sight and I assumed she was in her cabin. Maybe Heero sedated her, too.

I cleared my throat as I came into the room and they both looked up in surprise. Heero frowned slightly. "What are you doing awake?"

"I had to pee." I laughed at his look of consternation. "And a good thing I did too... or were you planning on letting Wufei swing in the breeze forever?"

His eyes went wide and he had the good grace to look somewhat horrified. "Shit," he muttered and ran for the cockpit.

"Tell him I said hello!" I called after him with an evil snicker and moved toward the fridge to get myself a soda. Best stuff in the world to cut the crap out of your throat. And the caffeine would help me fight off the last of the damn drugs. I took a swig and went on around the table to lean over Chezarina.

"So, Mom;" I teased, "what's for dinner?"

She blushed and looked up at me with a grin, "Meatloaf and fried potatoes," she told me with a twinkle in her eye and I beamed at her.

"How'd you know I like meatloaf?"

"You said you did when you were talking to that nice man back at the shuttle field." She looked terribly pleased with herself.

I grunted and reached to steal a slice of the raw potatoes that they had sitting in a bowl of water on the counter. She chuckled and I think she would have smacked at my hand but she remembered my wrist at the last minute and didn't. Her smile faded a little.

"Please tell me Heero didn't make you peel all these?" I asked, eyeing the huge bowl.

"Of course not!" she scolded. "He peeled the potatoes while I mixed up the meatloaf."

"That's good," I grinned. "I was starting to think he was getting lazy."

She shooed me away from the counter so I perched myself on the corner of the galley table and propped my feet on the nearest chair, idly swinging it too and fro. "So... "I ventured after a minute, "where's... Miss Peacecraft?"

She gave me a funny little frown. "Why do you keep calling her that? You're even on a first name basis with me for crying out loud."

I shrugged and took a swallow of soda. "The last time it came up, she made it clear that we were not on first name terms and since then... she hasn't offered otherwise." I raised an eyebrow and she finally remembered the original question.

"She's... resting."

I chuckled. "Heero didn't drug her too, did he?"

She shook her head regretfully. "I'm afraid he didn't have to. She was... very upset."

I sighed and sat the soda bulb down long enough to rub at gritty feeling eyes. "After dinner we are going to go over some things, I promise."

Heero came back in then, looking suspiciously like he had just been royally chewed out and I grinned at him. "Oh, I hope he ripped you a new one."

He flushed darkly and tried to glare at me but it failed miserably since we both knew he'd screwed up.

Chezarina looked from one of us to the other with a confused expression. "What is going on?" she finally asked.

"He... " I jerked my thumb at Heero and grinned evilly, "was on the radio with a friend of ours when all hell broke loose and he left him sit for... " I glanced at my watch, "the last three hours thinking that we'd all died a horrible death out here."

"I apologized." Heero glowered at me.

"Well that's a fine thing!" I laughed at him, "You don't call Wufei back and he gets an apology! You slip me drugs without my knowledge and I don't get squat!"

He finally unbent a little and quirked a small grin at me. "Maybe that's because I'm not sorry."

I turned toward Chezarina in mock irritation. "Do you see what I have to put up with?"

She was grinning at us rather openly and finally chuckled. "Poor baby; wish I had to put up with someone like him."

That left me blushing rather furiously and somewhat at a loss for words. Chezarina took pity on me and called Heero over to drain the potatoes. I shifted to a chair at the other end of the table out of the way and just sat watching them work with my wrist cradled against my chest. I propped my feet up in the next chair over and settled my soda in my lap, listening to their quiet conversation and the totally unfamiliar but oddly comforting sounds of dinner cooking. The drugs were far from out of my system and the bit of caffeine I'd ingested wasn't really doing the job of counteracting them. It didn't take long before I found my eyes trying to slide shut and damned if I didn't doze off sitting at the table.

[back] [next] [back to Sunhawk's fic]