author: 0083
see part 1 for warnings, disclaimers

Special + Part 5

-The Fourth Encounter-

I never did call Quatre or Trowa on Sunday. I should have since I was roiling in my own juices Heero really had made me angry. The nerve of that guy to make fun of me only to give me his number and then tell me that we had.. potential? What the hell?

My ire traveled with me to work where I apparently proceeded to snap like a baby crocodile at everyone. My secretary started hiding from me on Tuesday and all the paralegals mysteriously disappeared when I entered the sector. My associates tread around me softly as if I would snap at one of them and take their heads off. Even the senior partners at the firm with reputations for being indomitable scurried off to their offices upon setting sights on me.

Throughout it all, I grumbled and snarled, unable to believe the gall of Heero. When Quatre called me at my office to see if I was free for lunch, I yelled at him only to apologize a second later when I had realized what I had done. He asked me what was wrong, of course, but I found that I could not verbalize just what was running through my head.

When Thursday rolled around, I was still scaring the wits out of everyone within fifty mile radius of me. In my current mood, had I asked a particularly intractable client for his crimes, I am quite sure he or she would have babbled out every bad thing they had done in their entire life time just to avoid me. Judges were afraid of me. I was turning into a veritable ogre and I did not mind. I was fine with being angry at Heero.

Unfortunately, Thursday was my big day in court. Let me explain somewhat. It was the first day of trial for my big client, a rich boy who had been indicted for murder in the second degree for killing his fraternity brother. I had to perform well or I could very well end up getting him twenty years in a non-friendly state prison whose populace liked young, fresh meat.

So Thursday, big day, still snarling. Perhaps that would work for a bench trial, but I had to face a jury today. They had to see that I was amicable, that I was completely friendly so that they would look at my client in a beatific light that he did not deserve. I spent an hour before trial doing breathing exercises, pushing Heero out of my system.

I was all prepared to go into trial when the worst happened.

"Duo. I didn't expect to see you here."

Oh. Fuck. Not him.

"Heero.."

I turned and my nightmare came to life before my eyes. I was standing with my hand on the courtroom door I had nearly escaped. Then he had to somehow turn up.

"What are you doing here?"

He sounded so.. happy to see me. Could he not see that I was getting nauseous just standing there? I was probably getting green around the edges. Not to mention, all the breathing exercises I had done for the past hour were becoming absolutely useless.

"I'm doing my job."

It was a snarl. I can see why my secretary squeaked and ran from me the other day since it was the same tone I had used when I told her that she had made a typo on page forty nine of the brief.

"So you're an.."

Heero stared at me, letting his eyes rake over my impeccably expensive suit, perfectly tied tie and shiny shoes. He apparently did not notice my temper rising. Or more likely, he noticed with his keen observation skills but decided to ignore it.

"Attorney."

He finished. Yes, I am an attorney, so what of it?

And for that matter, what the hell was Heero doing in a court house?

"Oh, if you're wondering, I'm Heero Yuy."

I knew that already. He's really patronizing me this time. Wait.. Yuy.. Yuy.. I knew that name..

Oh crap. Can my day get any worse?

"Yuy," I say in a sickly tone, "as in Dr. Yuy.. my psychiatric expert.."

"Oh. I suppose you're Mr. Maxwell, the attorney who hired me?"

It would be undignified to throw up right now. I had to be in front of a judge and jury in.. right now.

"I did not hire you, my firm did," was the best I could do as a reply before I whipped open the door and stalked into the courtroom.

The first day of my big trial was a damn blur thanks to the distraction I encountered in the form of Heero Yuy. I made my opening statement after the prosecutor maligned my client with very negative words and then crossed the prosecution's witnesses brilliantly. I made objections when called for, made notes about the case and in general, just did a great job.

Not that I remember a damn moment of it.

When noon came around and the judge called for a lunch recess, I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Noon was when I was supposed to talk to Dr. Yuy to prep him for the witness stand. I had my secretary make an appointment with his secretary weeks ago.. just that who the hell would have thought that Dr. Yuy would be Heero?

As soon as I entered the conference room set aside for such encounters, I found Heero sitting there, waiting for me. By this time, my sinking stomach had just packed up and had run away to Tahiti.

"Duo.. I never did imagine that you'd be an attorney."

Damn that smile.

"Oh, why?" I reply in a surly tone, "because I have long hair?"

"It is unusual for a man in your profession to have long hair.. but that's not what I meant."

His tone was much too friendly and conciliatory for my tastes. This was business, not a damned social call.

"Anyway, Dr. Yuy," I say, emphasizing the Doctor part, "I'm sorry we haven't met to discuss my client before, but we never seemed to have a meshing schedule. I must prep you in about two hours and then go back to trial. It is possible that you may not testify today since the prosecution is taking a long time with their witnesses."

I am quite proud that I said all that in a completely professional tone. I avoided eye contact throughout, making quite a production out of opening my briefcase and taking out the relevant documents, shuffling them needlessly over and over again.

"I understand the procedure, Duo. It is not my first time as an expert witness."

I did not snarl at him this time. I had my professional mask on and I'd be damned if I broke it in front of Heero.

"Then this should go quickly," I said, secretly thankful that I would not need to sit with him for two hours, "so let's begin."

We discussed my client's mental health which Heero deduced to be somewhat unstable. We talked of how to phrase questions so that his answers would be most favorable to my client. We speculated on the types of questions the prosecution would ask him and formulated answers to go along with them. All in all, we talked about the client and our strategy in a very professional manner.

Throughout our interview, I came to a couple of interesting conclusions. First thing, Heero is a damned smart guy, almost as brilliant as I am. He is well spoken, fluid without being wordy, succinct without being aloof. He would make an excellent expert witness and I had every hope of acquitting my stupid killer client with his help.

Well, that and the fact the evidence was fairly weak.

At the end of our discussion, I realized that I had not had lunch and I was back in court in ten minutes. Suffice to say, my ire towards Heero had cooled significantly during our two hours because he had been so utterly professional and dedicated. That merits high in my book. Then again, he had to go and ruin my revised opinion of him.

"Why haven't you called?"

Oh dear god in heaven, had he just asked me that? That is the question that almost every single girl I've taken out has asked me, usually followed by 'you insensitive jerk-off' or something to that effect.

"Are you kidding me?"

I hoped that I sounded as incredulous as I felt. Why in the world would I have called him? He had pissed me off so thoroughly that my entire firm thought that I was a walking bomb.

"Not at all. I had hoped that we could talk some more."

He sounded so calm and reasonable that it irked me more than it should have. What did he mean by that when all we did at the coffee shop was trade some observations, insults and barbs?

"I do not want to talk to you. I don't want anything to do with you except in the courtroom, okay? And after that, I don't want to see you ever again."

When I wish it, I can sound like a total soulless bastard. It works to get rid of unwanted female attention and stalkers off my back. Should I be surprised that it did not work on Heero? Most likely not.

"You say that now," he says with that damnable smirk, "but you won't be saying it later. Don't be afraid of possibilities. Call me."

At that moment, I wondered if I could kill him and stuff him under the conference table without anyone noticing. Really. He had the gall to tell me that I wanted contact with him? That I was afraid of him? I take back all the nice things I ever said about Heero, even the gorgeous guy part. He has crossed the line.

"Don't hold your breath," I grate out through clenched teeth and this time, it is I who leave first. I hope he was gaping at me as I gaped at his retreating form that Saturday night.

As I entered the courtroom once again, I made a conscious effort to keep Heero out of my mind and put back on my cool mask of professionalism. He would not ruin what I do best nor would he intrude into my thoughts. I was done with him after he testified.

Unfortunately, the damn trial lasted two and a half weeks and during that time, I avoided Heero like the plague. I knew he was in the building, probably on the same floor as me, but I knew this court house so damn well that I could duck into wherever if I felt his presence coming close. It was a cowardly tactic, but I really couldn't think of anything else to do.

I believe the day when I put him on the witness stand was one of the most courageous, if not the best, acting I have ever done in my entire life. I treated him with courtesy, respect and asked him questions in a calm and soothing tone. None of the anger or the sheer dislike for him came through at all. I must say though, throughout the direct examination, Heero did not even once hint that we had a whole load of icky between us. He was so damned professional that I was impressed by the whole performance.

The trial did come to an end finally, my client was acquitted for which I am not entirely happy, and I was free of Heero. No more interaction with him. During the hellish two and a half weeks, I had gladly given up going to the Tornado Fodder, my favorite and most frequented bar, so that I would not run into him even by chance. I had avoided him thoroughly as possible in the court house. Quatre and Trowa thought I was losing some bolts in my brain when I suggested that we never go out again and stay in forever. All my sacrifices later, I would be free of him and it would all be worth it.

I did mention Heero has a way of messing up all my plans, right? Why should this be any different?

Two days after the jury verdict came in, it was a gray Friday. It seemed like rain but it didn't even sprinkle. That should have set me off that the day would not bode well. It was nearly the end of the work day and I had just called Quatre and Trowa to say we should go out. They had agreed readily, probably relieved that I was finally over my strange introverted phase. Despite my bad habits, I think it disturbed them that I had not gone to a single bar or club in two and a half weeks.

I was getting my things together, whistling a happy little tune when there was a knock at my office door. My secretary had gone home early, I had insisted. She had put up with me for a while as an ogre so she definitely deserved it. So that meant any visitor would bypass the secretarial safety line and come straight to me.

Foolishly, I said 'enter' without thinking about the implications.

"Hey."

I froze. Deer in headlights does not begin to describe me.

"I'm glad I caught you. I wanted to see if you were free for the evening."

Heero walked into my office, his nice shoes making shallow impressions in my nice carpet as he made his way towards my desk and me. I was still frozen, unable to say anything, forever paused in the motion of putting my laptop into my briefcase.

"So, are you? Free for the evening?"

He is damned persistent. More than I could ever dream of being. My voice decided to make an appearance at this point, but obviously, my brain had yet to catch up.

"More or less. Just an evening out with friends."

"More than free or less than free?"

Here I stand, suffering from apoplexy, and Heero is trying to play word games with me. His blue eyes sparkled with a light as he spoke to me, practically daring me to do something foolish. Why won't this guy give up on me? I didn't think I had given much indication that I liked him in any way. Quite frankly, I seemed to remember running away from him every chance I had, making it known that I wanted nothing from him except a wide range of personal space. I really was ready to cast a pithy comment at him, designed to deflate the dancing lights in his eyes, to let him know on no uncertain terms just what I felt about him. I do surprise myself with my idiocy on some occasions and this was one of them.

"You can come."

Oh god. My brain really is on vacation.

He smiles then. That beautiful one. It still made me feel light headed and fuzzy minded, the way he radiated contentment from that one lovely smile. In that space of time, I forgot that I disliked him intensely, that I did not ever want to see him again.

It is during his amazing smile that I remember that I still have that piece of paper with his phone number on it. I never did throw it out.

As we walk out of my office, I realize that I'm really in for it. Whatever that 'it' is, I hope that I'm prepared.

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