by Aoe

Stuck With You... + Part 14

1/7/205

Hmm, it's been a few days since I wrote in my journal here. I've been using the diary Duo got me for Christmas. Things have been going well for us.

Okay, things have been goddamn fantastic, and I don't think Quatre and I ever had this much sex in seven whole years of a relationship. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration. But only a slight one.

Anyway... things have settled down around the office. Ken is still dating Francine. I wish them luck. I am suffering from that particular sort of selfishness that afflicts the blissfully happy, making us want everyone around us to be as contented as we are, so we can just float in this ecstatic pink bubble of diabetes-inducing euphoria.

Heero is the only dark spot in our blithe existence.

Poor Heero. He's holding up well, but he always does. I can tell Duo is worried about him, though. But it's Duo's job to worry about Heero, because in a lot of ways, he knows him better than the rest of us do.

But since it's now MY job to worry about Duo, I find myself drawn into the Heero problem...

The problem being, as I had worked out a while ago, Heero is the odd man out. I guess somebody has to be, since there are five of us, and nobody seems interested in a threesome. Wufei never seemed to mind being alone too much, but according to Duo, he really did mind. I guess I can understand that. To be part of our group, but not especially close to any of us would be a special kind of loneliness.

And damn it, I don't want anybody to be lonely anymore! Especially not one of my best friends!

But more than any of the rest of us, Heero just couldn't forge a relationship with somebody outside the group. So what can we do?

Oh, I have to go now. Something's going on.

Trowa closed his journal file and sat up in his chair, craning his neck to see what was going on that had half the office clustered around Une's door.

As soon as he looked over, though, the crowd abruptly broke and scattered like a flock of startled crows. By the time the door of Une's office swung open, everyone was back at their desks, or at least well-concealed behind rented shrubbery and water coolers.

Zechs Marquise stepped into the main office.

Trowa blinked in surprise at the tall, grim-faced blond as he strode purposefully through the maze of desks. Wasn't Zechs... or Milliard... or Wind... whoever he was today, supposed to be on Mars?

With Noin?

"Zechs! Long time no see!" Duo declared cheerfully. He had been among the crowd at the door, but hadn't made it all the way back to his desk before Zechs' entry. Zechs paused and smiled hesitantly at the shorter man, as if he'd almost forgotten how to form the expression.

"Duo Maxwell," he greeted solemnly. "It has, indeed, been some time."

"So what's new on Mars?" Duo asked, grabbing Zechs' arm like an old friend and beginning to lead him forward.

Zechs frowned slightly, whether at the contact or the question, Trowa wasn't sure. But he let Duo drag him through the desks as he replied, "Well, the terraforming is going well. Noin's been promoted now, and she'll have more time to focus on her work with me on Earth."

"Oh?" Duo asked pointedly, raising his eyebrows at Zechs.

Zechs grimaced and straightened his crisply starched uniform shirt as Duo released his hand. "Yes, well... Noin and I... didn't work out."

"Really," Duo murmured thoughtfully. He took a stack of files from under Zechs' arm and tossed them on the desk they'd stopped beside. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, Zechs."

"It's all right," Zechs assured him. "Neither of us was happy. We just didn't have that much in common, I suppose."

"Imagine that," Duo murmured sympathetically. "You two always seemed so... compatible."

"Yes, well," Zechs said brusquely, "I'd rather not discuss it, if you don't mind."

"Oh, I don't mind at all," Duo assured him. "You just have a seat and get all settled in... It's great to have you back here on Earth. And if you have any problems or questions or anything, just ask your neighbor there." Duo pointed to the occupant of the desk next to the one he'd seated Zechs at.

Heero scowled back at them both.

"Heero," Zechs said, one corner of his mouth quirking upwards slightly.

"Zechs," Heero replied flatly.

As Zechs slid into his seat, still staring at his "neighbor", Duo scooted away and down the aisle, grabbing Trowa as he passed and dragging the taller man out of his chair and all the way to the break room.

There was a large group of people gathered in the tiny room, but they parted as Duo and Trowa entered, to reveal Wufei seated at the small table, a chart of some kind laid out before him. It was covered with boxes and numbers. Wufei looked up at Duo expectantly, Quatre hovering nervously over his shoulder.

Duo smirked at them and declared dryly, "Ninmu kanryou."

Everyone in the room broke into smiles as Duo walked forward to lean over the table. As Trowa watched in confusion, his lover pulled a crumpled bill from his pocket and slapped it down on the chart.

"Twenty bucks on one week," Duo announced.

Wufei raised an eyebrow. "Pretty long odds, Maxwell," he cautioned.

"I have the soul of a gambler," Duo stated.

"And the sense," Wufei couldn't help adding, but he accepted the money and made a mark on the chart. "All right, gentlemen, place your bets!" he called.

Duo made his way back over to Trowa, grinning happily as the rest of the room's occupants closed ranks around the table, shouting and waving money.

"What are you all betting on?" Trowa asked, having a bad feeling he knew the answer.

"How long it'll take for Zechs and Heero to give in to years of repressed sexual tension," Duo responded brightly.

Trowa just stared at him for a moment. Then he said slowly, "You're serious. Heero... and Zechs?"

"Um-hmm," Duo murmured, nodding.

Trowa shook his head. "You realize you're all insane," he remarked.

Duo grinned and shrugged. "You wouldn't have us any other way," he crooned, rising on tiptoe to kiss Trowa on the chin. "Now I gotta go watch over my investment," he declared, trotting back out into the office.

Trowa just shook his head, watching Duo go.

"Barton!" Wufei called. "Are you betting or not?"

"Are you kidding?" Trowa called back incredulously. He stuck a hand in his pocket and pulled out a bill of his own. "Of course I am."

~~~~~And they all lived happily ever after... ~~~~~

[part 13] [back to Aoe's fic]