disclaimer: About the same as always, I'm out of my head, and know not what I do.

pairing: heero/duo (hinted), trowa/quatre (implied)
warnings: silliness, BL, poor attempt at humor

notes: inspired by a conversation raz had with her sister, though it's not quite what sharon asked for...
written for gw500 challenge 169 - voice

The Human Element
by Merith

When Trowa left the car to see what was taking Quatre so long, Duo slid over, giving Heero a little more room on the back seat. Heero noted the change in position with a slant of his eyes, and went back to the magazine he held open on his lap.

"I'll be just a minute," Quatre had said. And ten later, they were still waiting.

Not that Heero had minded. Wufei was playing the radio - something they all didn't mind, and at a volume to where more could be heard than the bass. Duo tapped his fingers in time to the beat against his leg, and a quick glance showed Duo's lips moving in silent song.

"Distasteful," Wufei said from the front.

Heero's eyes flicked upward; Wufei was glaring out the window. In a look, Heero spotted the two city patrol cars, aligned driver's side to driver's side. It wasn't an uncommon sight, and he went back to the article he had been reading.

"Why's that?" Duo asked, scooting closer and sitting forward.

"They're on duty! They shouldn't be socializing." Wufei was sharing his glare with Duo.

"But, what if they're in love? What if this is the only chance they get to talk? Or... make out, or something."

"They're in law enforcement! They should be out doing their jobs, not... " Wufei's hand thrust out, smacking the window with a sharp thump. "Rendezvousing in a parking lot!"

"Maybe they're partners - you know in that way, and one of them's just reminding the other to pick up milk for cereal in the morning."

Heero stopped pretending to read and turned his head to look at Duo. Duo caught his look, and flashed him a brief grin.

"Irregardless, no one should be socializing while on duty." Wufei twisted about, arms crossed over his chest.

"People need to talk to one another, even unsocial bastards like you," Duo tossed out. "There's nothing wrong with a little non-job speak. Isn't that right, Heero?"

And suddenly, both Duo and Wufei were looking at him. Heero glanced between the two; the tips of his ears became heated, and the page held was slowly crumpling in his ever-tightening grip.

"No," he finally pushed out. He smoothed the sheet with his palm, no longer looking at either Duo or Wufei. "Human interaction is important," his eyes flicked upward and back, "even while on duty."

"See!" Duo crowed, slapping the back of the seat.

Wufei snorted, and shifted to put his back to the door. "Interacting while on duty might be acceptable, for work related events." Wufei's eyes were boring holes. "You have to admit that socializing -- fraternizing -," his look swept in Duo's direction, "while on duty in public, is unacceptable."

His ears heated up again, but taking a deep breath, and without looking in Duo's direction, Heero stated quietly, "Maybe not in public."

"What?" And Duo was falling back on the seat, laughing.

"You're not going to win this one, Chang." Duo said, humor dancing in his eyes. He was sitting up, now, and both passenger doors opened. "Tell him, Quatre."

Sliding into his seat in front, Quatre shot a glance between the three before settling on Duo. "Tell who what?" He was smiling softly.

"Wufei. Tell him that it's okay to be sociable with your coworkers." Duo's elbow winged out to nudge Heero's side.

"Of course it is." Quatre was fastening his seat belt, before facing Wufei. "It's the human interaction that helps most people through their day."

Wufei started the car, but his head turned slightly, enough to shoot Duo a look. "Sociable is one thing," he said putting the car into gear. "Making out in the parking lot is different."

"Making out?" Trowa asked, his focus now on Duo laughing against Heero's side.

"Maxwell had those two city officers making out in their patrol cars." Wufei's hand gestured off his side window.

"Duo?" Quatre was twist around, staring into the back seat.

Pushing himself off Heero's shoulder, Duo sobered. "What's wrong with a kiss or two? I mean, as long as you're not slobbering all over one another, a little show of affection isn't a bad thing."

"There is nothing wrong with it," Quatre said, a slight frown settling between his eyes. "But, a person should maintain professionalism... "

"Like you and Tro last week in the break room?" Duo slid in.

"He's right." Trowa sat back, watching Quatre flush. Eyes held and lips smiled before Quatre turned about. "As long as it's not... what did you call it?" Trowa turned to Duo.

"Slobbering all over one another," Heero supplied. His magazine long forgotten in a rolled up disheveled mess.

Trowa nodded. "That's right. Slobbering all over one another."

His ears red, with cheeks beginning to match. Duo tugged on his collar. "The door was supposed to be locked," he muttered.

"What was that?" Wufei called out from the front.

"Nothing," Heero said, unfurling his magazine, and thumbing through the warped pages to the article he hadn't finished. "Duo concedes professionalism before socialization."

Leaning into Heero, his lips inches from Heero's ear, Duo whispered softly, "Only until Monday morning."


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