Heero was used to it by now. The coaxing, the wheedling, the egging on, the
urging, the persuading had all become commonplace within the last few months.
Oh, sure, he'd always been able to stick to his guns before, but this time,
Heero was actually thinking about giving in.
"Come on, Heero. You won't know if you don't try."
"Yeah, you could miss the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance like this
could never come around again."
Looking up from the copy machine, Heero casually addressed his coworkers, his
exasperation unmistakable. "Ladies, I'm afraid you're fighting a losing
battle. Whatever scheme you've managed to cook up this time will undoubtedly
Sally shook her head, not in the least deterred by Heero's pessimism. "Now
is the perfect time to make a move. Don't look now, but he's going to the
snack machine in the break room. He'll be by himself, so you just walk over
there and strike up a conversation."
"But what if he says no?"
With a strained smile, Noin reminded the Japanese man, "You won't give him a
chance to say 'yes' if you don't ask." Giving Heero an unnecessarily
forceful pat on the back, she pushed him away from the copy machine. "Don't
worry about your copies, Heero. We'll handle it. You can thank us later
when you're giving us all the details."
Both she and Sally winked conspiratorially before shooing Heero on down the
hall to the staff lounge. Finally resigned to his fate, Heero trudged along,
all the while wondering how he'd gotten himself into this mess.
It had started innocently enough. About six months prior, at Zechs and
Noin's engagement party, the new bride-to-be and Sally had cornered Heero and
began pestering him about his love life. It seemed that once single people
became either married or engaged, they felt the need to play matchmaker with
all their single friends. That was Heero's opinion, at least.
After an evening of badgering, and once his fellow Preventers had him
thoroughly liquored up, he let it slip that he had eyes for someone at the
office. It wasn't long before the women had gone through a list of nearly
every single female coworker in attempts to figure out Heero's mystery crush.
Laughing at their shoddy guesswork, Heero asked, too drunk to notice that he
was giving himself away, "Did you two ever stop to think that it might not be
The women stopped mid-sentence and stared at him, wide-eyed and slack-jawed,
as his words sunk in. Then they turned to each other for a brief moment to
confer before returning their attention to Heero, voicing their decision in
//And that's why I don't drink anymore.// Ever since that night, Sally and
Noin had done all in their power to get Heero to ask Duo out on a date. They
had also taken up teasing Heero relentlessly about his secret admiration of
the American agent, much to Heero's chagrin.
Suddenly realizing that he was but a few feet from the break room and still
had no idea how to bring up the subject with Duo, Heero scrambled to come up
with something intelligent to say. //"Hey, Duo. What's up?" No. "So, you
wanna go out sometime?" Ugh. "Will you please go out with me?" Dammit!
How can I do this without sounding like a desperate teenager?//
Slowing his steps as he approached the break room, Heero squared his
shoulders and inhaled a deep, calming breath. Even though he'd been coerced
into asking Duo out, he'd committed to the task, and he didn't want nerves
getting in the way of achieving his goal. //It's okay. You can do this.
It's just Duo...// Confidence restored, he strode into the lounge, only to
have the butterflies return in full force as he laid eyes on the American.
//I can't do this.//
It's not that Duo looked any different than usual. But even dressed in his
regulation Preventers uniform, he still took Heero's breath away. However,
the fact that he was bent over in front of the vending machine didn't help
matters at all.
Upon hearing footsteps behind him, Duo looked over his shoulder, gracing
Heero with a luminous smile that melted the Japanese man's racing heart.
"Heero! How's it goin', buddy?"
Still reeling from the aftereffects of Duo's radiant smile, Heero did not
answer. Raising an eyebrow at his friend's odd behavior, Duo stood upright
and walked over to where Heero stood in the doorway. Putting his hands on
Heero's shoulders he asked, concerned, "You feelin' okay, Heero?"
Heero nodded his head slightly, making sure not to breathe in too deeply,
lest he inhale Duo's scent and have to excuse himself. He couldn't keep the
slight blush from tinting his cheeks as he tried to explain himself. "I'm
fine. Just ...zoned out, I guess."
Grinning, Duo released Heero's shoulders. "'Zoned out,' huh? Seems I'm
rubbing off on you, Yuy." Making his way back to the vending machine, he
resumed his analysis of the assortment of junk food. "So what brings you to
this fine establishment?"