Well, pretty much everyone else had already opened their gifts. He didn't want to be the last one, so he resigned himself to smiling over whatever meaningless bauble he got and pulled the bow off the box. He wiggled the lid off, too, and then stared at the green sprig inside. Mistletoe?
He looked up, thinking that he could pick the culprit from the crowd, but his eyes fell first on Heero. Dammit, he pulled his eyes away and looked elsewhere. A few seconds' worth of gravity drew them back to their original target.
Heero returned his look. The faintest curve turned his lips into an almost imperceptible smile.
Someone walked up beside him. He shoved the lid back onto the box and turned to make vacuous conversation with Agent Kerry.
"Socks." Heero turned from his file cabinet and gestured at the thick cotton pair sitting on the top of his desk. Reindeer pranced around the top edge.
Duo snorted. "'Ho, ho, ho,'" he read off of them. The words weren't meant to sound so droll. "Wonder if the guy thought he was being funny, or if he just thought you were someone else."
Heero shrugged. "Either way, it's going into the donations box in the lobby."
Not a bad idea. Duo held his box up and shook it lightly. "Wonder how I ended up with mistletoe."
He detached himself from the cabinet and advanced into a more conversational range. "Thought you needed a little good cheer this season."
Confirmation that the gift-giver had been who Duo thought he was. "You know I don't do Christmas, Heero."
"I know. It's not really Christmas-specific."
Duo gave him a dubious look. "It's mistletoe. It only comes out at Christmas."
"It's not really mistletoe. It's more like... a packet of good will. Like wishing someone a happy holiday. May you find someone to share that with."
He glanced down at the box and back again. Heero seemed in closer proximity than he'd been just a second ago. "You trying to tell me something, Heero?"
"Only if you're trying to tell me something."
He hated it when Heero did that. "You were betting on me knowing it was from you?"
Heero shrugged with one shoulder. "Didn't matter. All that mattered was that I was the first person you looked at after opening it."
He was suddenly glad that Heero's magnetism had attracted his gaze first. Not that he would admit it so easily. Not to this cocky bastard. "What would you have done if I hadn't looked at you first?"
"I'd have given you the same speech about good will and well-wishes. All that would still be true." Heero leaned in just a smidge and let his voice fall to a confiding level. "I just wouldn't be standing so close to you right now."
Why, so he was. Standing so close, that is. When had that happened? Duo tilted his head in amusement. "Ah. I see." They looked each other in the eye for a good eight seconds, like mirror images sharing the same tiny smile. Duo broke the contact when he remembered the box. He flipped it once for old time's sake, tossed the lid and then the empty box onto Heero's desk, and raised the mistletoe over their heads.
Heero let the invitation hang open for another three seconds before leaning in to brush his lips against Duo's.
They shared air for four heartbeats before Duo pulled back with a crinkle in his brow. "Wait, you thought this was worth less than five bucks?"
Heero cuffed him lightly on the side of the head, commandeered the mistletoe, and proceeded to thoroughly break the rules of the gift exchange.
last modified : 12/17/2006 02:44:33 PST