"Woah, Maxwell's getting married!"
I looked up from my work when I heard Matt's astounded
voice. "What?! I didn't even know he was seeing someone!" I saw Duo
come into the office then, smiling in a rather bemused fashion at
everyone's reaction to the news.
"Yeah, we've been seeing each other for a while now…"
"So, when'd you pop the question? Have you set a date yet?"
Everyone was looking for proof he wasn't just making it up; for some
reason we all saw Duo as the least likely member of the office team
to settle down – he was so young, and a charmer too; we'd have
thought he would want to have a taste of everything he could before
he decided what he wanted, because we all knew he'd be able to get
any girl he liked.
He shook his head at our questions, chuckling. "We didn't want a
long engagement. We want to get married soon, so the wedding's in
only a month." As everyone began to talk at him again he held up his
hands. "And no, you're not all coming to the wedding! We're just
having a few friends, we don't want anything fancy, OK?" He started
out of the main office towards his own down the corridor. "But hey,
I'll bring you all a slice of cake!" He disappeared with a wave of
We all sat looking at each other for a few minutes. "Woah… That
"I wonder who she is?"
Some of the women were looking pretty pissed off. "He kept that
"Yeah, we never even got a chance!"
The guys laughed. "You're curious, aren't you? About who it is
who could be better than you?" Matt ducked the ball of paper Su
threw at his head. "Kidding, kidding!" He turned back to the males
who formed the majority of the workforce. "But of course, you know
what a wedding means, don't you? Stag night!"
The guys laughed and made sounds of leery approval. "Stripper!
That'll test him! See if his girl really is all that!"
"Yeah! He can't have seen *everything* at his age… We need to…
The girls shook their heads, but I could see they were smiling.
"That's settled then! We'll sort something out for the weekend
before the wedding. And in the meantime… let's see how much we can
find out about this mystery woman!"
"So, Maxwell, c'mon! You've got to tell us about this fiancée of
Duo seemed amused at the interest everyone was taking. "Why do
you want to know?!"
"We're just curious as to who could get your undivided
attention!" Ricky elbowed him with a knowing wink.
Duo gave him an odd look. "Why shouldn't I be faithful to one
We looked at each other. "Well… young man like you… You know…" We
all made vague noises and some fuzzy hand gestures.
Duo looked even more amused. "Well, I hate to disappoint you but
I'm happy. Very happy." He winked at us and made his way out of the
room again, to a chorus of whistles and "Get in there!"s.
Every lunch break from the day we heard the news, the guys tried
to get Maxwell to spill the beans about his love life. But every day
he'd brush them off, giving a sly look or a smug grin. He certainly
looked satisfied with his lot in life; we'd often hear him whistling
a cheerful tune, or sharing a joke with the cleaners when we were
leaving for the evening. The more we tried to wheedle details out of
him, the more he seemed to smile and swagger around the office, like
he was immensely proud of his secret that he wouldn't let anyone
"C'mon, man, won't you even tell us her name?!"
He considered for a while. "Hmm… OK, I guess I can't deny you
that. Heero. My fiancée is called Heero."
That didn't satisfy anyone, though. Now we'd got him to give us
that much, we tried extra hard to get information out of him.
"What's she look like, hm? How come you don't have any pictures
of her on your desk?"
He stared at us. "Why do you all care? Have you nothing better to
do with your time?! C'mon, out of my office, go do some work, you
I guess it was kind of comical how everyone tried so hard to find
out about Duo's girl; but we were intrigued now!
"Y'know, I reckon she's really plain, or has no fashion sense, or
something like that, and Maxwell's embarrassed to tell us!" This
from Matt, who had by now emerged as the ringleader, at lunch about
ten days after Duo's initial announcement.
Duo rolled his eyes and put his tea mug down with a harsh
clatter. "Look, you think I can't pull someone attractive?"
We looked at each other; that was rather unlikely, we had to
He looked smug. "In any case, Heero is gorgeous, and I'm not just
"Well why not show us a picture then?!" Matt still sounded
Duo snorted. "What, and have you leering at my fiancée? Not a
chance, pal. Get your own!"
Matt reddened at that. We laughed – it seemed Duo had struck a
nerve. Maybe that explained his interest in Duo's love-life – trying
to make up for his own lack of one.
Still – what did it say about the rest of us? I didn't give the
matter too much thought; I was as caught up as everyone else in the
overblown importance we attached to Duo's upcoming nuptials. Thom
from accounts was running a book! You could get odds of three to one
that the wedding would be called off: two to one it'd be Duo, and
evens that it would be the girl who'd get cold feet…
Duo remained highly amused by the whole affair, and the way it
had taken over the office. "Nice to know I play such a big role in
your lives!" He threw a friendly arm round Matt's shoulders.
Matt looked uncomfortable. "Shut up, Maxwell, it just gives us
something to think about while we're all bored at work, that's all."
He shrugged off Duo's arm. Duo smirked, but said nothing.
A few days later, though, he was at it again. "Why are you
bothering to get married, anyway? You get her up the duff, or
something?" He winked and nudged Duo, but he was taken aback by
Duo's uproarious laughter.
"I don't think so!" He was laughing so much as he left the room
that no-one in the office thought to re-ask the original question.
What on earth was so funny about that?!
Matt quietened down for a short while after that – but before we
knew it, it was time for the famed and carefully planned stag night.
We'd told Duo it was `just a night out with the lads', but he wasn't
stupid; he knew what it was, but he was easy-going enough. Not so
easy-going that he let his guard down, though – he was probably (and
understandably) wary that he'd end up naked and unconscious on a
train to somewhere very far away, if he had more than a few drinks.
Luckily for him, though, that wasn't the plan. Rather, the plan
involved us all converging on a bar one evening, having hired it for
the purpose, trying (unsuccessfully) to get Duo drunk, until the
main event took place.
Said Main Event arrived, dressed in the *briefest* little
waitress outfit I could have ever imagined, to the great
appreciation of the gathered crowd of red-blooded males. With the
notable exception of one. Duo looked beyond shocked when this girl
approached him with her bosom to the fore, though to his credit he
did recover quickly… though perhaps not in the way Matt and co. had
anticipated. He smiled at her, complimenting her pretty face and
lovely eyes; and as the others whistled and cheered at her, he
quickly found out her name, bought her a drink and engaged her in a
light-hearted conversation about the recent cold weather, and how he
hoped she'd got a coat with her or she was going to be freezing on
the way home. I think she was pretty shocked too, though she didn't
complain when Duo shoved a handful of notes into her hand and told
her not to bother taking any more off, she was wearing little enough
as it was… So so much for the stripper. She spent a short while
happily chatting with Duo, before leaving, much to the
disappointment of our group.
"What kind of stag night is it without a woman with no clothes
on?! Man, Duo, what's the matter with you?! She was really hot!"
"Yeah, you idiot! Once you're tied to the apron strings you won't
get many more opportunities like that! It'll all be `When will you
be home?' and `Don't be going out with your mates' and that…"
"You should have taken the chance, man… Your girl couldn't
possibly have tits as perfect as that; she was a professional!"
Duo laughed for a long time at that. "Well, you're definitely
right there, Heero certainly doesn't have a chest like that!"
By that time we were too drunk to wonder what it was he found so
During the following week, the one leading up to the wedding, all
speculation came to a head.
"So, you're not having any second thoughts?" Ed had placed a bet
that Duo would call the wedding off, he couldn't stand to see Thom
the bookmaker taking his money.
Duo grinned. "Nope."
It was one of the girls who raised another important issue. "All
set for your honeymoon then? Where you going to?"
"Rome. I let Heero choose where we went."
The girls `Aww'ed, but the romantic mood was ruined by the ever-
helpful Matt. "Well, it's not like you'll be leaving the hotel room
much anyway, is it?"
Duo rolled his eyes. "Have you got no sense of adventure?"
Matt just leered, until Duo clarified.
"Never heard of *al fresco*? When in Rome, my friend…" He
sauntered back down the corridor, leaving a gaping Matt to be ribbed
by the rest of the office.
Before we knew it, it was the end of the week and the day before
the wedding. We'd had a little whip-round – even Matt had put his
hand in his pocket, though he hadn't contributed nearly as much as
the newly-rich Thom – and bought Duo a few nice bottles of wine…
and, in a characteristic display of bad taste, the largest size
variety pack of condoms Matt had been able to find in some dodgy
shop. Duo stared at the pack for a few moments before laughing in
that way he'd done a few times in the recent past, like he had a
little private joke going on… "Heh, there are some lemon and lime
flavour. My favourite."
It was only afterwards we wondered quite what he meant by that.
A fortnight later, and Duo was back, bearing cheap tacky models
of famous Roman landmarks for us all, and a set of dirty postcards
for Matt. "Thought you'd appreciate them."
Matt pinned them to his noticeboard eagerly, before pointing out
how tanned Duo was.
Duo winked. "Well, I told you we'd be getting out and about. And
yes, I know you're all wondering – this tan is all over."
Su nearly swooned at the mental image, but Matt, for once,
approved, clapping Duo on the back. "Congratulations, mate! I take
it you had a good one?"
Duo leered back at him. "I had several good ones, every day."
Matt laughed. "Oh, these newly-weds, eh? So you are a man, after
Duo smirked. "Oh yes. And Heero knows that for certain."
"Ahhh, I knew you had it in you!" Matt waited a minute for Duo to
stop laughing again, before continuing. "So, do we get to meet her
now? After all, we're not gonna try anything now she's officially
Mrs Maxwell, are we?"
Duo considered. "Well, I'll think about it. I guess some days
Heero might pick me up from work; it'll save me catching the
Underground now we're sharing a car."
Matt beamed. Success!
And it wasn't long that we had to wait, either.
"Hey, who's that woman?" We crowded round the window to get a
look when Su pointed out the stranger in the car park.
"I dunno, never seen her before…" None of us had any ideas… until
Duo came in.
"What's going on out there? Not some girl in a bikini for no
reason again, is it?"
"No, no," Matt answered seriously, "but there is a woman out
I saw Duo look for a moment, then he grinned and slapped himself
on the forehead. "Of course! I knew there was something I was meant
to be doing!" He ran from the main office and reappeared a moment
later, pulling on his jacket. "I'll see you guys later! It's OK, the
boss knows I'm leaving early, I just forgot! Bye!" He hurried out
and down the stairs, and we saw him reappear a moment later… just in
time to intercept the woman as she was about to enter the building.
"Hey! It's her!" Matt nearly fell over. "Damn, I wish we'd got to
meet her, find out what she sees in him!"
"Yeah, you've got to admit she's pretty tasty!" We were all
appreciative, even at this distance, of her slim figure and subtle
good looks. She was just a little taller than Duo, we saw as they
kissed on the tarmac below us, with short dark hair and a tasteful
outfit, not like some of the slappers Matt and co. had for
girlfriends, however briefly. She had a short skirt on, yes, but she
didn't look made up, and from her posture and stance she seemed like
a confident, self-assured young woman. That, and her expression on
seeing Duo… We could see he was grinning like a fool, and she rolled
her eyes at him even as they met for another kiss as they walked
over to the shiny black car that hadn't been there five minutes ago.
Matt was sceptical, though, as she got into the driver's
side. "Hm, Maxwell's taking his life in his hands, letting his wife
drive him around, isn't he?"
Su threw a stapler at his head, but missed.
Matt laughed. "Well, women drivers…" We watched the shiny little
car speed deftly out of the car park. "Wouldn't mind a set of wheels
like that though." He considered. "I bet he gets a lot of use out of
the back seat!" He leered. We laughed. "I think I would, if I had a
woman like her…" Slowly we dispersed, mystery partially solved… but
appetites only whetted.
The next morning the interest was as evident as ever.
"Hey, Maxwell, your old lady's a bit of alright!" Matt slapped
Duo on the back cheerfully.
Duo grinned. "Heh, you're not far wrong there!" He winked.
"Car's not bad either. You had her long?"
"Oh, the car's Heero's. I got rid of mine when we got married,
saves a bit of money."
Matt looked surprised. "Right, I was surprised you let her loose
with it if it was yours!" He laughed heartily, while Duo gave a
patient smile. Matt didn't seem to notice, but carried right
on. "Heh, how's the suspension in the back?" He leered. The office,
as one, shook its head at his continuing crassness; Matt just didn't
know when to let it drop…
Duo got Matt right back though. He leered back at him. "Oh, it's
just fine. But it won't be for long." He patted Matt on the shoulder
and stalked out in that smug way that got Matt so riled up, leaving
him looking disappointed; he was clearly still looking for more
juice to supplement his own ailing love-life. We jeered at him, and
he flipped us off before retreating to his desk.
Mrs Heero Maxwell showed up quite a few times after that, when
Duo was working a half-day. Always wearing something tasteful, yet
sexy, and always greeting Duo with the same enthusiastic meeting of
mouths that made Matt whistle sadly and make a muttered comment
about what he thought about `going home to that every night'. We
were all still hooked on the current romance, as nothing more
interesting was forthcoming; so we eagerly awaited every morning
when Duo would get in, and Matt would trade low witticisms about the
probability of Maxwell offspring ("One Maxwell is enough, eh? What?
What's so funny?") or Mrs Maxwell's taste in underwear ("Wouldn't
you like to know, you pervert…"). Duo seemed to have undergone a
change: at first, when he first announced his engagement, he had
been more cagy, and evaded our questions; but now he was married, he
seemed to have grown in confidence about his spouse, and was
prepared to go right ahead and join in our speculations on his
conjugal activities. Much to our delight.
"Sorry I'm late," he declared one morning, coming into the office
looking a little rumpled, like he'd rushed to get ready. "I was up
all night shagging. "
The office had no comeback for that one. Not even Matt. We
watched, open-mouthed, as he headed down to his office, tucking his
After a few moments, Matt regained his voice somewhat. "Bloo-dy
hell, nothing like rubbing our noses in it is there!" He chased off
down the corridor. "Maxwell, you old dog! Your missus been keeping
you up, eh? Oh! Keeping you up! Yeah! I didn't even realise I'd said
that, man I'm funny…"
Duo chuckled and shut the door to stop him getting any further.
Matt came back, undeterred. "Ahh, he is human like the rest of us! I
was beginning to wonder. But I can see why he sticks to that wife of
his, I certainly can, now I've seen her for myself. Man, I'd like to
"Yeah, so you can try it on! You must have a death wish,
Maxwell'd go mental!" Ed was sceptical.
Matt had to agree there. "Oh, I wouldn't try nothing, but I'd
just like to, y'know, check her out!" He grinned, confident in the
knowledge Duo couldn't actually hear him.
We all had to admit we were all hoping someday Matt would get his
And, one day, sure enough…
"Excuse me, which way is Duo Maxwell's office?"
Matt shot out of his chair so fast it fell over. "Oh, it's this
way, if you'll follow me…" He led her down the corridor.
By unspoken agreement we all quietly gathered round the office
door, listening in.
"So," Matt was saying, "Mrs Maxwell, right?"
"Yeah." There was a smile in her tone. Her voice was actually
pretty deep, for a woman… She was just as good-looking up close,
though; tall, slim, nice rear view, but with a beautiful face as
well – she didn't wear too much make-up, as we'd noticed before, but
she didn't need it. Her eyes were naturally captivating, a deep
blue… We could all see what attracted Maxwell.
Matt made some blustering small talk before getting to the
question he really wanted to ask. "Anyway, what was it that first
attracted you to our boy?" He winked at her disarmingly.
She turned to him. "Duo is… a very passionate person." Her face
was straight, but she'd got him just like Duo had all those times.
They'd reached Duo's office, and she went in, leaving him in the
We sniggered at him as he came back. "Too much information?"
She'd certainly smouldered as she'd said that one sentence.
He waved a hand airily. "I finally got to meet her though!"
We shook our heads and laughed. "Wonder what they're doing in
there now," I said teasingly.
Matt's eyes widened. "Shit! You don't reckon..." He hesitated a
minute, then ran quietly back to Duo's office door, pressing his ear
against it carefully.
Curious, we crowded round the main office door, watching Matt's
expression to see if he gave any indication of what he was hearing.
He just looked frustrated though. "Can't hear anything," he said,
returning, "These doors are too damn thick."
Half an hour later, we tried to discern whether we were right in
our assumption, when Mrs Maxwell left the office, sharing a
lingering kiss and a slightly saucy smile with her husband.
Duo was wearing a wide grin when Matt, trying to look like he'd
merely been passing by, nudged him in a manly way. "Enjoy your
"Oh yes. And Heero did too, thanks very much."
Somehow there was just something lascivious about everything Duo
said, these days. I wondered idly whether asking the cleaners if
there were any suspicious stains in Duo's office would be too much,
even for Matt.
It seemed that speculation was over now, and we had moved on to
full blown smut in our discussions of Duo's marriage. Inevitable, I
supposed; the guys in the office without girls of their own were
swift to pounce on anyone who happened to be getting some, and as
Duo was so willing to play them at their own game we had no end of
innuendo in the office. I was glad the boss' own office was some way
down the corridor.
We didn't see Mrs Maxwell again for a while. In fact, we were
beginning to wonder if they'd had a fight or something; but then,
Duo had been working lots of hours recently. Must've needed the
extra cash now he had a woman to keep, Matt conjectured; but Duo had
laughed in that strange way again, like he often did at Matt, and
said no, Heero had a job too but Duo was trying to finish his latest
project in time. After all, he had said, winking, he'd been busy
recently. He needed to make up for lost time.
It seemed Matt and I had to as well; I think maybe we all got too
preoccupied with our banter to realise we actually needed to do some
work too. We took to staying late some nights, catching up on our
work so we'd manage to be back on track by Christmas - it wasn't far
away now. It was after one of our late nights that we got our first
glimpse of Mrs Maxwell in a few weeks.
"Hey, Duo - isn't that your missus' car?" Matt peered out into
Duo bounded over. "Yeah! Hey, I wasn't expecting to be picked up
today." He checked his watch. "Well, it is after 9, I guess I'm
packing it in for tonight. See you guys later!" He grinned as he
donned his coat.
"Yeah, have a good night!" Matt winked and Duo laughed as he
exited. We watched as he jogged over to the black car, greeting his
wife with their customary deep kiss.
Tonight, though, it seemed to be even more passionate than usual.
I'd looked away, but turned back when I heard Matt whistle. "Woah,
she's keen tonight. Maxwell's in for a good time!"
I laughed, and we watched as they continued to thoroughly greet
each other. We chuckled as Duo's hands roamed lower, cupping his
wife's pert little rear; we half-expected her to swat away his hand
and give him a long-suffering look, like we'd seen her direct his
way before - but not this time. She accepted his hands with
something not unlike a leer, and we saw her own roam down Duo's back
to copy his actions on him. I watched Matt's eyes widen as Heero
squeezed, to Duo's obvious pleasure. Their kiss grew steamier,
adventurous hands travelling further afield... We watched,
mesmerised, as they broke apart eventually, panting, still pressed
to each other's bodies. They grinned at each other, as Heero slowly
broke away, taking Duo's hand and walking backwards, pulling him
towards the car. Duo went eagerly, eyes fixed on Heero's seductive
expression; even at a distance, we could see the lust between them,
the attraction drawing them together... My own breath caught in my
throat, as Heero leant back against the car, pulling Duo to her.
They looked at each other for a long moment, and I could see the
desire there, in the way they challenged each other to make the
first move, the way they smiled at each other with such...
sexuality... I could feel myself getting inevitably warmer, as the
couple outside created their own heat - both of them seemed to break
at the same time, moving in simultaneously to join again at the
mouth. This kiss was even more passionate than before; I swallowed,
feeling myself getting more uncomfortable in my clothes, as they
rocked against each other, Heero's arms round Duo's neck and his
hands roaming sensuously up and down her sides... There was no
mistaking what was on their minds, and I couldn't help the mental
images, of this beautiful couple, doing what it was obvious they
were going to do... I crossed my legs, sure that Matt would have
*heard* my heart rate increase, and trying to make myself as
inconspicuous as possible.
It didn't seem to matter, though - Matt was engrossed in the
show. He was glued to the windowpane, and I wasn't far off myself,
as Heero pushed Duo away, finally, smirking and running her tongue
over her lower lip slowly. Duo reluctantly drew away, running his
hand lingeringly over her body as he made his way hurriedly round
the car to the driver's side - it was a change from the norm... but
we soon saw why.
"Oh my god..."
As soon as they were both in the car, Heero leaned across,
kissing Duo full on the mouth, pressing him against the seat... We
could see her hands, busy in his lap, and when she broke away from
his mouth and began to travel down his body... it became crystal
clear what she intended.
"She's not going to?! Is she?!"
She was. Of course, we couldn't see all the details from our
position, but we could certainly see their results, written in Duo's
expression. I felt my face growing hot as all available blood rushed
to my cheeks - but most of it was, in fact, occupied in a different
location. I suddenly thought, it explained a lot - all us sex-
starved office workers, focussing on our colleague's romance... it
really had been too long, and they were both... so attractive. Who
could fail to be... affected by the sexy picture they made?
It wasn't long before it was all over. I was glad I was sitting
behind Matt, and he couldn't see my expression or my... physical
predicament, as I watched Duo shut his eyes tight, his lips parting
in a moan I could all too easily imagine, his whole body - that we
could see - shaking. After a few minutes, we saw Heero reappear,
immediately pressing her mouth to Duo's in a kiss that was clearly a
precursor to more of what we'd just seen, when they got home... I
wiped my sweaty palms on my trousers, trying to clam my body down,
as they broke apart, both grinning widely; it was another couple of
minutes before Duo seemed composed enough to actually start the car,
I rubbed a hand over my face. Suddenly I wanted to be as far away
from the office as possible. "I... think I'm gonna go home now..."
Matt nodded, as if in a dream. "...Me too..."
We put our coats on mechanically, a silence between us that
suggested this evening would never be spoken of again. Or at least,
our part in it never would be. I couldn't speak for how Matt would
react tomorrow morning, when this was all a memory pushed aside and
he was back amongst the rest of our co-workers, anxious for more of
the running banter Duo and he always engaged in.
We edged our way out to the car park, trying to keep as far
apart, but still close together, as we casually could... "See you
"Yeah, see you." As I drove home, it briefly crossed my mind that
if it had been my wife - if I'd had one - doing that with me, then I
wouldn't have been quite so eager to accept that kiss straight
after... but I put the thought from my mind, and moved on to wonder
what exactly would transpire tomorrow... and hoped my dreams that
night wouldn't be too... detailed.
"Well well, if it isn't the boy wonder himself!" Matt nudged Duo
in the ribs and leered. "Man, your missus is a bit of a goer, isn't
she?! You're a lucky man!"
Duo grinned widely. "So, you enjoyed the show last night, did
Matt was caught a little by surprise, but did his best to recover
quickly. "Er - yes!" He leered to cover his slight slip. "We
certainly know what you've been up to all night!" He nudged me and I
nodded, trying not to blush. I'd been trying not to think of what
Duo and his wife had been doing, for fear of the effect it'd have on
Duo winked at me. "You'd be right there. Man, I really need some
caffeine this morning - only a few hours sleep, y'see..." He managed
to look smug, even though we did notice he looked pretty tired as he
wandered off to the coffee machine.
Matt chuckled manfully, but I was still too conscious of my own
reaction to Duo and Heero's... display last night to risk anything.
Made me all too aware that Duo had every reason to laugh at our
fascination with his love life, because it had been far too long
since either of us had had anything resembling one. I was suddenly
looking forward to the time off I'd booked over Christmas, so I
could forget the assorted pressures of the office. I was kind of
looking forward to the annual Christmas party too; maybe all the
heightened sexual awareness that had been sloshing round the office
these past few months would take effect. I could only hope.
The season was soon upon us. As per tradition, we were having a
party in the office; there was a formal dinner the week before at a
fancy restaurant, but that was far too respectable to be a whole lot
of fun. Although partners were invited as well, for some reason Mrs
Maxwell wasn't in attendance; something about her own works do, Duo
mentioned briefly. I think Matt was disappointed at not being able
to engage her in some salacious conversation about Duo's sexual
prowess, or something, but it was undoubtedly for the best - he
still hadn't quite got to grips with the fact that he never came off
best in these confrontations of wit, such as they were. I too was
glad she didn't turn up; after all, I couldn't have looked her in
the eye without blushing. That night in the car park loomed large in
my memory, no matter how much I tried to forget it.
The formal dinner was enjoyable, in a sedately drunken kind of
way; of course, we all had plenty to drink, but the difference was
that this stuff had an identifiable name and source, and didn't
taste like something out of a cat litter tray. Unlike the stuff we
always had to look forward to at the office party. But still, it was
late by the time we left the restaurant, and none of us were really
in any state to drive.
"Hey, Duo - you gonna be OK to get home?"
"Sure, I'm getting picked up." He grinned at us, queueing in the
freezing night for taxis. "See you all tomorrow! Maybe." He turned
to someone we couldn't quite see in the darkness at first, but we
saw him grin. "Hey, you been waiting long?" Duo tottered a bit, and
the figure emerged from the shadows to catch him.
"Not too long." The speaker was a young man, a little taller than
Duo, but probably the same age; but it was difficult to make out a
lot about him, in this light and after a few drinks. He put an arm
round Duo's waist. "Come on, the car's just round the corner."
We watched curiously as Duo put his own arm round the young man's
shoulders. Duo wasn't falling-over-drunk, but he'd certainly got...
exuberant. Even more so than usual. He rested his head on his
companion's shoulder; he probably didn't realise how loudly he was
talking, I reasoned; or maybe he didn't care.
"Thanks for doing this for me. You know I love ya, don't you?"
The young man's voice was quieter, but we could just make out his
response. He chuckled, leaning in close to Duo. "I love you too Duo,
now come on. Let's get home." They rounded the corner and we
couldn't make out any more distinct conversation.
We looked at one another. "Was that slightly... unexpected?" We
tried to think, our brains a bit muzzy with alcohol.
"Yeah... I mean... D'you reckon he was a bit..." Matt made a
vague but all-too-expressive hand gesture.
We considered. "Could be..." Then: "Hey... What d'you think Duo's
missus makes of *him*?" There was a moment's silence... then, as
one, we began to snicker. I guessed we'd found something new to
tease Duo about.
"Hey, Duo, who's your friend?" Matt, ever tactful, slapped Duo on
"What are you on about now?" Duo endeavoured to look long-
"Your very friendly friend from the other night!" Matt fluttered
his eyelashes. We all sniggered.
Duo rolled his eyes. "Oh, be quiet. And anyway, where were you
yesterday? Some of us managed to turn up for work, you know."
Matt flushed. Duo smirked. We laughed. Once again, Duo had won,
and he walked off with a wink to us before Matt could ask anything
It could have been my imagination, but I think maybe Duo was just
getting to the edge of being tired of it all now. After all, he'd
been married a few months, and we still hadn't let up. I didn't know
what it was about Matt's latest try that had got to him, but somehow
I felt he wasn't as interested in keeping up this game any more.
Still, at least we all had the office party to look forward to
instead. We barely had time to put up our silly decorations round
the office before it was the day of the party - time goes so fast
around that season. Somehow we managed to make our overtime pay
off, and got all the work done on time.
"So, Duo, your missus coming to the party tonight?"
"Oh, I don't know yet... You'll have to wait and see." He winked.
"Hey, try and get her to come! It'll be a laugh!"
Duo raised his eyebrows. "So you can do your Spanish Inquistion
act?" He grinned.
Matt ignored him, for once. "Go on, man... She likes a party,
Duo shrugged. "Not really... But I'll see what I can do." He looked
into space for a minute, then smiled slowly... but it wasn't
at us, it was to himself.
Duo turned up very late for the party. Some of us had not
bothered to go home, but Duo had, and we all hoped he'd return with
his pretty wife - even me, who thought I might be able to handle the
situation if I'd had a few drinks, and I didn't have to engage in
conversation with her. But as it turned out, I didn't have to think
about it - Duo turned up, at about half past nine, when everyone
else had long since waved goodbye to sobriety, without his wife -
but with his friend from the other night. Soon Duo had joined us as
we danced embarrassingly around the photocopiers and water coolers
of the office to a lot of cheesy party tracks - but his friend just
sat, watching us all, drinking Coke and shaking his head in
amusement. A couple of times I thought I'd go over and keep him
company, but he seemed fine by himself; and in any case, I had no
idea what I was going to say to someone who we all thought was
probably a little bit... dodgy. I mean, you never knew, with people
of dubious sexuality... I've nothing against them, no, but I didn't
want to get hit on. I guessed Duo must have known the guy a while,
be used to it or something.
So I forgot about him, got into the party, watched Ed and Matt
attempting to photocopy amusing parts of their anatomy, saw Su in a
drunken clinch under some mistletoe with Thom from accounts, and
attempted to charm the ladies with my highly sophisticated dance
moves. Every so often I'd see Duo go over to his friend, singing the
lyrics of whatever song was on at that moment, taking one or both of
his hands, and trying to pull him into a passing conga line or
something. But no, his friend, it seemed, was perfectly content to
sit out and watch. Watch one person in particular... His eyes
followed Duo everywhere. I wondered if Duo knew... Still, I wasn't
about to tell him his best buddy's eyes were glued to his ass. He
didn't seem to be hiding it, though - I caught a glimpse of him
smirking at Duo as the latter made his way over to him once again. I
saw Duo lean in close to hear what his friend was saying over the
music; but the next time I looked, they'd gone, and I couldn't see
them anywhere. I shrugged and forgot about it for the time being,
having a few more drinks and still trying and failing to impress the
women of the office.
It must have been quite a few more drinks, because the next thing
I knew, I was wandering - or, rather, staggering - down the corridor
towards the toilets. Despite having worked at the office for several
years now, I was currently rather hazy as to their exact
location; "It's down here somewhere" was good enough for me. I began
to notice, even in my somewhat bleary state, that I could hear some
very odd sounds coming from down the corridor. Fuzzily it occurred
to me that someone might have broken in - but no, I wasn't so far
gone, and it soon dawned on me that it was far more likely to be two
employees having a little illicit fun. Well well, I thought to
myself, who could it be? I was sure I'd seen Matt only a few minutes
ago, and he was having about as much luck as me. The only couple I'd
noted, Su and Thom, were slow-dancing to disco music in a drunken
sort of way. So... who then? Curiosity got the better of me. I
tiptoed up the corridor as best I could, eventually pinpointing the
noise... it was coming from an open door to my right. Duo's office.
The door was wide open, I reasoned. Anyone could see what was
happening inside! So I decided I was anyone, and at any rate,
whoever it was probably wasn't going to be paying attention to me...
so I stole up to the door, and peeked round the corner.
I hadn't realised I'd had *that* much to drink, I thought; but I
must've done, because I could swear that it was Duo who was on his
back on his own desk, naked except for his shirt, open and hanging
off his shoulders. Sheaves of paper were scattered across the floor,
as though they'd just been swept off the desk in a hurry; and on top
of him, between his spread thighs, nailing him most enthusiastically
to the tabletop... was his... friend.
I blinked. I stared. My mouth fell open. I didn't realise I'd
made any sound, and I certainly didn't think I could have been heard
over the racket they were making; but I saw Duo turn his face
towards me, and even as his lover attacked his neck with eager
kisses, I saw his lips curl in a grin that meant he'd definitely
seen me there. But then, his eyes slid closed, and he was
concentrating on only one thing.
I shook myself, and managed to turn away. What on earth did
Maxwell think he was doing?! I mean, I know office parties are
practically designed for indiscretions that were regretted by
everyone the next day; but... this wasn't some casual office fling,
as Duo had brought his guest himself! I remembered that
Duo's "friend" hadn't been drinking; maybe he'd taken advantage of
the fact that Duo had been, to manipulate Duo! But that didn't seem
right... Duo looked to have been enjoying himself far too much for
there to be any kind of coercion or persuasion involved. I knew full
well it was none of my business, but... what about Heero?! The way
Duo had talked, the way we'd seen them together! Why would he want
to give that up? It baffled me.
When I got back to the party, I knew I had a choice. I could
spill the story, or I could keep my mouth shut. The decision was
easily made; I couldn't say anything, that would just be cruel. But
I was determined to have a word with Duo whenever I could; as a
friend, a concerned colleague.
"Hey, you seen Duo recently?" Matt nudged my arm.
I tried not to blush. "Not for a while. Maybe he went home."
Matt made a noise of disappointment. "Damn, that's no fun. We
were having a great time!"
I nodded absently, and spent the rest of the night trying to
forget what I'd seen.
The next day I actually managed to rag myself into work; I
reasoned that Duo would probably be there, and hardly anyone else
would, so I'd have a great opportunity to talk to him alone. The
thought made me feel even worse than the after effects of the party
were doing. Still, it just wasn't right! I had to say something,
just a quiet word...
"Hey, man! Good time last night?" Duo was chirpier than usual. I
could guess at the reason why, and it made me... uncomfortable.
I smiled ruefully, letting the party explain my subdued
manner. "Yeah, it was a laugh, wasn't it."
"Oh yeah." He looked at me, and I knew he knew what I was
I took a deep breath. "Look, can I have a word with you?"
Duo nodded easily. "I think maybe you'd better."
I followed him down the corridor to his office; I couldn't help
the heat that rose to my cheeks as I remembered the scene less than
9 hours ago in this very room... He leaned back on his desk, and I
couldn't help noticing all the papers neatly arranged back on it...
I cleared my throat. "Look, Duo, I know you saw me last night, and
I... I mean... what...?"
He kindly stepped in. "I know, I know. You want to know what the
hell I think I'm doing, messing around with another man, when I have
the lovely Mrs Maxwell back at home waiting for me, eager to meet my
every demand and fulfill my every need? Willing to drop her knickers
like a good little wife whenever I want her to?" He smiled
lopsidedly as I blushed even more and nodded once. "Well..." He
reached into his back pocket for his wallet, and opened it to
produce something. He gave it to me.
It was a photograph. Duo and his friend were in it, faces
conspiratorially close together: Duo, grinning, winking at the
camera; his friend smirking, looking very smugly as though he was
enjoying the feeling of Duo's arm round his shoulders. "This is
"But... what? I thought you were married to Heero!"
"I am. But Heero's not my wife. He's my husband. For some reason,
everyone just assumed..."
The wheels were turning slowly in my brain. "But... who's that
woman we" I blushed again "saw you with?"
Duo smirked. "Ah, now that," he took the photograph back "was
I was beyond confused. "But..."
"Yeah, that's right. I guess I got the idea when everyone was so
fascinated with the idea of me getting married; everyone was
determined to find out more about what sort of girl I'd go for in
such a big way. It never occurred to anyone that someone like me
might not actually like girls." He grinned. I think he was enjoying
"So... you got... Heero" the name felt odd on my tongue now "to
dress up as a woman?!"
"Oh, he didn't mind. We thought it would be pretty funny to see
the looks on your faces when you found out... I mean, all those
comments Matt and you all kept making... If you'd known Heero was a
man, no-one would have even been able to bring themselves to think
about it!" He laughed. "I mean... Imagine the look on Matt's face if
he knew all his insinuations and innuendoes were absolutely true...
but I was doing them with another guy!"
I thought about it. I had to admit, it was pretty funny.
Especially when I thought ot how it explained a lot of things...
Duo's reaction to the stripper at his stag night; his amusement at
anyone's suggestion Heero might be pregnant. And it was, to my
shame, true; if we'd known Duo was gay, I doubt we'd have been so
eager to make his sex life the topic of intense ongoing interest in
the office; in fact, it was doubtful we'd ever have got to know him
as well as we did, and that would just have been... stupid, because
Duo was a great guy. But it niggled me, that I'd been just the
same. "Duo... I have to confess, when we saw your - I mean, Heero,
er, as a guy... we thought he was chasing you."
Duo laughed. "Well, you'd've been right. I did kind of notice -
but it's funny, isn't it? After all, it was me who was telling the
world how much I loved him, after the office dinner last week. But
yet, 'cos it was me, that was OK! After all, everyone does stupid
stuff like that after a few drinks, don't they? Red-blooded married
guy like me, just making a bit of a fool of myself, no harm done.
But someone a bit different..." He looked me in the eye.
I shuffled my feet. "I just want to... y'know, say sorry." I felt
about 10 years old.
Duo winked at me. "Apology accepted. That's why I'm glad it was
you, y'know? I've been wanting to tell everyone for a while now,
it's getting old. And besides" he had a glint in his eye "I'd pay
good money to see Matt's reaction. I don't suppose you've any ideas
on how to.. break it to him, have you?"
I felt relieved - he was just Duo, he wasn't any different
despite what he'd just told me! I grinned, feeling I'd been let off
the hook in a big way. Part of me was loathe to drop my other
colleagues in it... but another part of me was just as eager to...
educate them. "Well, I don't know... I mean, there was no arguing
with the way *I* found out." I fought to keep the blush from rising.
A slow grin spread across his face. "You know... you could just
be onto something there..."
"And..." I hesitated a moment. "I mean... at least you're getting
some. Which is more than can be said for most of us."
Duo laughed and slapped me on the back. "You're a good sport, you
know that?" That glint in his eye was back. "And you're right. The
joys of married life, eh?"
We laughed together, and plotted Duo's surprise for the rest of
the office. I couldn't wait.
 Slapper - like a slut, but subtly different... Trashy looking woman, who wears bad clothes and too much make-up!
 I credit this line to The Fast Show! :D