A shaking hand works an uneven path through sweat dampened hair, falling easily through chestnut bangs and ultimately snagging on strands that have loosened from the braid lying across his shoulder. Duo laughs; the sound is a hollow one. If his apartment were large enough, he was sure it would have echoed.
It didn’t matter who had done it. While he nonetheless had furiously scanned the unremarkable faces of those around him, the damage was done. It wasn’t Rohypnol, he knew those effects all too intimately. In the same moment he struggled to identify the substance settling inside him the thought occurred that it had to have been staff.
Duo could have decked the bartender within his reach. He could have demanded an explanation, or worse; he could have shot him.
Instead, he’d walked back to the scrapyard.
The image in front of him did not ask for a response, despite eyes fraught with desolation.
There you go gettin’ hopeless like again, something in his subconscious piped up, Solo’s voice coloring the words. Duo’s breath hitched, hand yanking through the mess of hair. Once freed, he dug that hand into the pocket of his coat, the other landing heavily on the wall behind his bathroom mirror. The mobile lit up immediately when he flicked it open, a benign light filling the small room and discordantly casting his ragged features in extremes.
It only took one press of a button. Each of the pilot’s numbers had been programmed in for speed dial, if the need or desire occurred. A calloused finger rested above the number that would connect to Heero’s line.
What business did he have dragging someone else into this mess? Into the mess he was? Into what they’d seen glimpses of, more than once. He couldn’t bear the thought of burden or disgust.
Especially not pity, even more than indifference.
1.5 pounds of plastic, wire, and computer chip fell into the sink’s basin with a clatter.
What a joke I’ve become.
And what good was a joke that nobody heard?