Disclaimer: I don't own them, but that doesn't stop me ^_~

Additional disclaimer: I don't know anything about office parties, or even much about offices to be honest, so the plan in my head is entirely made up! ^^;; Hope it makes sense...
Pairing: 1x2x1
Warnings: Citrus, humour, pov, cross-dressing, but maybe not what you'd expect…

This is for Dacia, who I believe had a birthday recently! ^_~ Many happy returns for a wonderful archiver! :)

by Elyndys

"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 his hand.

We all sat looking at each other for a few minutes. "Woah… That was unexpected!"

"I wonder who she is?"

Some of the women were looking pretty pissed off. "He kept that one quiet!"

"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… educate him!"

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 yours!"

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 person?"

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 else share.

"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 slackers!"

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 admit.

He looked smug. "In any case, Heero is gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that."

"Well why not show us a picture then?!" Matt still sounded sceptical.

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 funny.

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 all!"

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 there…"

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[1] 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. [2]"

The office had no comeback for that one. Not even Matt. We watched, open-mouthed, as he headed down to his office, tucking his shirt in.

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 meet her…"

"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 confrontation.

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 corridor.

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 lunchbreak, Maxwell?"

"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 the darkness.

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, and drive.

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 tomorrow mate."

"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 you?"

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 me.

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 the back.

"What are you on about now?" Duo endeavoured to look long- suffering.

"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 else.

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, doesn't she?"

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 thinking.

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 Heero."

"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 Heero."

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 this immensely.

"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.

[1] Slapper - like a slut, but subtly different... Trashy looking woman, who wears bad clothes and too much make-up!

[2] I credit this line to The Fast Show! :D


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