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[FIC] "The Best Place To Be"

Title: The Best Place To Be
Author: WickedGame
Genre: Drama/fluff/angst
Pairing: 1=2
Rating: G
Warnings: sap, fluff, angsty, not beta read
Notes: Inspired by this pic by asia_2, and also written for Asia as a late birthday present.

Duo stared out at the ocean, watching the waves as they lapped against the sand beneath the boardwalk on which he stood.

They used to come here together every day. Now Duo continued that tradition, letting the seasons mark the passage of time that Heero had been gone. When it was sunny the boardwalk was full of people, especially children; running along the path toward the carnival down the street.

But then there were days like this, foggy and grey. It had been exactly like this the day Heero had left and Duo thought he would always remember the way Heero had put his hand against the glass of the taxi window as he said goodbye.

But now that memory was becoming as grey and foggy as the weather and it made Duo want to cry. He wrapped his arms around his waist and watched a tugboat go by.

“How long has he been gone now?” Quatre asked.

“Three years, two months and thirteen days,” Duo answered, not embarrassed by his exact calculations.

“Three years, two months, and fourteen days,” Duo murmured out loud, looking up at the sky and blinking quickly.

Three years, two months, and fourteen days in which he hadn’t returned Heero’s sentiment to his face. Just before he’d left, Heero had told him how he felt, and Duo had said nothing.

“Duo, I don’t know how long this operation’s going to keep me out of town. They won’t give me too many specifics. But I wanted you to know… I care for you. A lot. Too much, really. And if I’m not gone for too long, I want you to think about that, and think about me.”

Duo had been too stunned to say anything. He’d just sat there and watched as Heero got into his taxi and drove right out of his life.

Three years, two months, and fourteen days ago his heart had left with Heero Yuy, and now Duo felt he had no choice but to believe that Heero was dead, cold and grey like the weather on the boardwalk.

His apartment didn’t seem the same without Heero around. They had watched too many movies together, and played too many video games. There was a red wine stain on the rug from where Heero had tripped and spilt, a rare accident for the formerly perfect soldier. One of Duo’s game controllers was scratched so that Heero knew which one was his. There was a gouge in the floor of the kitchen where Heero had dropped a paring knife once.

Heero had wanted Duo to think about him. Duo didn’t think Heero needed to worry about that: Duo couldn’t ever forget him and didn’t do anything without thinking of Heero, where he was and what he was doing.

Duo had considered moving, but then he worried that if Heero came back he wouldn’t be able to find him. And it wasn’t as if he stayed home all the time and fretted: he went to work every day and took his walk in the early evening. He went out with his friends and went to the gym every morning. He lived life, but he lived it only as much as he needed to. He knew that. He knew it wasn’t healthy. But he just couldn’t stop waiting and hoping.

Sleep never came easily, but that night it didn’t come at all. Duo went through the next day like a zombie and was sent home early by his supervisor with wishes for him to get well since he obviously must be sick.

Duo wished he knew what they would think if he told them he was love sick, still pining over someone that had been gone for over three years. He thought they wouldn’t believe him.

Heero wouldn’t have wanted this for him, Duo thought as he stared out at the ocean that evening. Heero would’ve wanted him to be happy and joking, loving every minute of the day. Duo thought Heero might be pissed if he ever knew how miserable Duo was.

Duo changed his usual course and set out onto the sand, tossing his shoes to the side and making his way to the surf.

“Are you dead, Heero?” he asked the crashing waves, his toes clenching as the freezing water lapped at his feet. “How long will you leave me like this?”

“Three years, two months, and sixteen days,” a familiar voice said behind him.

Duo turned around and smiled. “I’ve been thinking about you.”

Heero stepped forward with a tired smile. “I got back as soon as I could. You’ve lost weight.”

“And you’ve gained some,” Duo commented. Heero’s muscles were bulkier and more defined. There was a crew cut where shaggy brown hair used to be and earrings up the rim of the left ear. “You look different.”

“You look…ordinary,” Heero sighed at Duo’s sudden frown. “You think it’s an insult. It’s not. Ordinary is the best thing to be right now.”

“I think the best place to be is here,” Duo countered.

Heero nodded and brushed Duo’s bangs from his face. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

“How’d you find me?” Duo asked, gesturing at the sand around him.

“I hoped I would find you almost the same place I left you. Turns out I was just about right,” Heero sighed and slid his hand down Duo’s arm, intertwining their fingers once their hands met. “I told you not to wait for too long.”

Duo smirked and touched his forehead to Heero’s. “No. You said if you weren’t gone too long. Forever wouldn’t have been long enough. I’d still be here, waiting for you.”

“I missed you,” Heero whispered. “So damned much.”

“Can’t miss me anymore,” Duo said softly as his lips grazed Heero’s. “Let’s stop the missing and get to the loving part.”

-The End-

Note: I know the picture was drawn for the song "Ordinary World", but for some reason this idea about the picture itself wouldn't leave my head, so apologies for liberties taken with the spirit of the source material.

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