COMPROMISE

by Tari Gwaemir
It might not be healthy, but...

"It might not be healthy, but it gets the job done," Heero said, as he expertly maneuvered the point of the syringe into his skin. A quick flick, and the needle was out again, leaving only a drop of blood in its wake. Duo watched the whole process with a disapproving glare.

"Did you even read the warning labels? That stuff can mess up your organs permanently."

Heero ignored him, his attention on the control board before him.

"Goddamnit, Heero, we're not fifteen anymore. Don't you think you should take some precautions for yourself?"

Heero, who was busily typing on his laptop with one hand while scribbling on a tablet with the other, replied wearily, "I know my limits."

"Now if you'll only learn some moderation as well," Duo grumbled, swiveling around on his chair. He stared at the screen before him and viciously poked at the controls.

Heero paused in his typing. "I need to stay awake if I'm to navigate this flight," he said flatly.

"Uh-huh. And what am I here for?"

"You're piloting. You can sleep, but I can't. We're mapping an entirely new route."

"We can damn well take turns at navigation, you know. I did learn more than piloting from G."

"I'm not saying you're not capable. But this is my responsibility." Heero resumed typing.

Duo didn't respond, but he scowled at his screen. "Stars, stars and more stars. And black empty space in between," he muttered to himself. He glanced surreptitiously at Heero, who was continuing to calculate trajectories at top speed.

"Your feet are shaking," he said, attempting to keep his voice calm.

Heero shook his head absently and did not turn.

"Fine, have it your way. Just don't expect me to come to your funeral after you wither away with cancer or dementia or--"

"Why are you so upset anyway?"

"Because you refuse to take care of yourself!"

Heero finally looked up. He seemed at a loss for words. "I see."

"Oh, just...never mind." Duo crossed his arms and kicked the leg of his chair.

Heero hesitated for a moment, then offered, his voice subdued, "I won't take it again, after we cross this sector."

"Good," Duo huffed and tried not to smile.

END

Gundam Wing belongs to Sunrise.

Written for chain_of_fics.

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