one stone, two birds
"You told her WHAT?!?!"
I was fairly certain what his reaction was going to be before the words left his mouth.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," I offered, knowing it wasn't going to be much, if any consolation.
"Do you know what this is going to do to my love life?"
I couldn't resist rolling my eyes at his assertion. It was a subject we had discussed, though not in detail. "IF you had a love life," I corrected.
"Yeah, well one day I might actually want one!" He snorted.
"It will all blow over soon enough," I was quick to assure him.
"Shit. Now it all makes sense!" he exclaimed loudly.
"All those funny looks she's been giving me the last two weeks. I should have known something was up! God, Heero, why the hell didn't you tell me?"
I shrugged, uttering a white lie. I would come clean about it later. "I didn't think you would find out."
His anger was nearly visible as it deflated and I watched as his shoulders fell accompanied by an audible sigh. "So, did it work?"
"Well, I suppose that's a good thing," He said, seemingly resigning himself to it.
I nodded. It was a very good thing and it had, after all, been HIS idea. "Thank you for suggesting it," I told him.
He looked mildly horrified and his jaw dropped and subsequently closed several times. "That is NOT what I suggested!"
"Actually, it is," I corrected. "You said I should tell her I was seeing someone."
His arms flew up in the air, clearly frustrated. "I didn't mean ME, Heero! You could have made someone up! A girl! Now she thinks we're..."
"Yeah. Fuck," he said, running the fingers of his left hand through his bangs.
There was a modest amount of truth in what I had told Relena. I had never been interested in her the way she wanted me to be. I wasn't interested in any woman that way. "I didn't see any reason to lead her on, Duo. Admitting that I was seeing another woman was only a temporary solution."
"I suppose," he says, looking at me for a brief second before continuing. "But you could have just made up some random guy. You didn't have to tell her it was me!"
The conversation was leading precisely where I wanted it to. I could have easily conjured up an imaginary lover, but Duo's suggestion, though unintentional, was so much more than a way to let Relena know I didn't return her feelings. It was the ideal way for me to tell Duo how I really felt about him and see if he felt the same way. I had a strong suspicion he did.
I took a deep breath before looking him straight in the eye. "What if I would like for it to be you?"
A look of confusion crossed his face and for a few seconds, I thought he didn't understand what I was trying to say; I thought that I might have to explain it to him. Fortunately, that didn't turn out to be the case.
He laughed. "Why the hell didn't you just tell me?"
"I just did."
"Yeah!" he said, still somewhat amused, but no longer laughing. "In the most roundabout fucking way possible!"
I shrugged. "Does it matter?"
For a brief moment, Duo's expression led me to believe that perhaps it did matter. I had waited so long to tell him; he deserved more. I was busy trying to formulate an appropriate response, ready to explain how it never felt like the right time to tell him how I felt and that even when it had come close, I found myself struggling for the right words.
He reached out suddenly, smiling as he grasped my hand and slipped his fingers snugly between my own. "No," he said with a smile, "I suppose it doesn't."