Duo looked up, startled to find anyone else in the office.  "He-- Heero?  What are you still doing here?"

With his sleeves rolled up and his Preventers' jacket slung over one shoulder by some negligent fingers, Heero's shrug completed the look of utter nonchalance.  "I heard that you've been spending some late nights in the office lately."

Duo swept his eyes over the papers scattered across the top of his desk.  "Yeah, well, work to finish, yanno?"  Sound came forth from his computer speakers.  Though the volume was set low, it was still obviously the effect from losing the little game opened in his web browser.  With Heero's entry, he had forgotten to pause it.  He opened his mouth to try and hastily cover himself, but then let it fall shut with a faintly shamefaced smile.

A smug eyebrow rose above eyes filled with amusement.   "They're keeping you busy up here, I see."

"Umm.  Yeah.  What are you still doing here?"

"I was just waiting for one of the diagnostics to finish running so I could start up the next one before I went home for the night.  Better than coming in tomorrow.  What's been happening in your neck of the woods?  I haven't seen you around lately."

"Umm.  Yeah.  You know.  Stuff."

"Sounds fascinating."

Dammit, he never could lie very well to Heero.  He tried to play with the truth again anyway.  "Yeah, the Miller case is coming to a close, and Gorbanoff is thinking about re-opening the Teragawa file, and... and just a lot of random things, I guess."

The sigh that escaped him only drew Heero further into the room to lean over the back of the chair in front of his desk.  "You look like you could use some more sleep."

He smiled weakly.  "Chronic condition."

"It's Friday night.  Go home."

"Damn, you know things must be bad when even the workaholic is telling you to go home."


Having just inadvertently acknowledged the gravity of the situation in the course of his teasing, there wasn't much left for him.  He stared silently at Heero staring back at him before finally coming out with it.  "I tossed him out."

Heero blinked calmly at him, assimilating the information in the privacy of his own mind before answering.  "When?"

"Few days ago."

"You should have told me.  I would have helped."

Duo snorted.  "What, helped throw his stuff off the balcony?"

"Are you kidding?  I park down there.  Maybe into a bonfire instead.  If that's what you wanted.  But I wouldn't have if you asked me not to."

"I... probably would have asked you not to.  Against my better judgment."

"He didn't go quietly."

"I wanted him to.  I hoped he would.  But I don't get that sort of luck."

"Not with that kind."  The words were out before he could censor them.

Duo made a rueful sound that wasn't quite a chuckle.   "Yeah, I know.  You've said so before.  So go on ahead, Heero.  Say it.  I know you want to.  Go on."

Heero leveled a steady, easy look at him for a seconds.   "Duo?"

"Yeah?"  He steeled himself for it.

"...Wanna get out of here and get some dinner?"

That shouldn't have been so unexpected, and yet it was.  He spent a few moments trying not to gape.  Heero tilted an eyebrow at him, and that seemed to knock him out of his stupor.  He stared at Heero for a moment, then glanced back at the uninspiring mess of his desk and monitor.  After a few more seconds of thought, he shrugged and started shutting down his computer.  "Sounds good to me."

Heero's expression, previously neutral, slipped into the faintest of satisfied smiles.  "It's late.  We can hit Elsie's.  They've got pretty good food, considering they like to think of themselves of a coffee and tea joint."  He might have attempted further small talk, but Duo's attention appeared to have wandered.

The shutdown screen was somehow a riveting target for Duo's eyes.  He frowned at it moodily.  "It's weird to think about it, you know?  It just sort of crept up on me.  He asked me how to do something.  I told him.  He asked me for some help.  I helped.  He asked to borrow some of my stuff.  I lent it.  The next thing you know, he's half living in my apartment mooching off all my stuff and why the hell did I ever think it was a good idea to lend him money?"

"You're a good person, Duo," Heero answered softly, but readily.  "You wanted to help.  He just took advantage of that."

He snorted.  "But I'm not a trusting person.  If I were someone else, yeah, maybe I would have helped him out of Christian goodness.  But I'm me, and Christianity is generally the last thing on my mind."

After so many years, Heero knew what to fight and what not to.  "He crept up on you.  Sometimes, it's just the gradual things we don't even notice, until we suddenly find ourselves somewhere and we don't even know how we got there."

"I don't like missing the obvious, Heero," he griped as he hit the power button on his monitor and stood up.  "I think that pisses me off more than anything."

Heero fetched his partner's jacket from the hook by the door and held it out.  "Then take a better look around you.  Maybe you'll see something else you've been missing all this time."

Duo paused in the act of taking the proffered jacket.   Something flitted along the edge of his consciousness, provoked by Heero's words.  His eyes flicked up to Heero's for a moment before returning to study the back of the hand patiently holding out his jacket.  With an intrigued hum, he took it and slung it over his arm.  "You said Elsie's, yeah?"  He gestured Heero through the door first before following, flipping the light off and shutting the door.  "You're right.  They've got the girliest salad there, but damn is it yummy..."

by girly salad, i mean this strawberry chicken salad i had once.  i felt so, well, girly ordering it, but mmmmm it was goooood.

return to index

This piece of fiction is the intellectual property of the little turnip that could. The basis for this fic, i.e. Gundam Wing, Kyuuketsuki Miyu, et al., is the property of someone else. The author can be con tacted at jchew at This has been an entirely automated message.

last modified : 6/25/2005 02:10:52 PST