Author: FancyFigures
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about 'em for free etc
Pairings: 1x2x1
Category: AU, romance
Warnings: Yaoi, lemon
Spoilers: None
Notes: Duo's looking for that someone special - Heero thinks he should work on a proper spec. Then Heero gets to spend a whole weekend in Duo's company, and Duo gets to see another slant on life. Perhaps the spec will be re-written...
Feedback: If you liked it, PLEASE let me know!

Another of my non-songfics! Written for Dacia, on her inspiration, and because she loves the song.

Lurv Spec

What's new pussycat
What's new, pussycat
Pussycat, pussycat, I love you
Yes, I do!
You and your pussycat eyes....


*

It was Friday morning, the end to a busy working week.

"What's new, Duo?" It was a casual greeting - the usual one for lunchtime.

"What's new, Heero?" came the laughing reply. Duo Maxwell landed himself in his chair with a show of swift, exuberant grace that drew eyes to him from all round the crowded staff canteen. The trays rattled on the table in front of his companion, as he folded himself down comfortably, and very decisively.

He swiped up a half-cold cup of coffee, and dipped his head down for a mouthful. His shirtsleeves were rolled up to his elbows - the fabric was a jewel-bright blue colour, like the flamed irises of his eyes, and he wore no tie. Never did; never had! His pants were of an expensively silken fabric, and hugged at his long legs; his desert boots were low-heeled, and comfortable, and most certainly not the usual company attire. A wisp of chestnut hair sprayed out from his fringe, and he pushed it impatiently away. He had long, thick hair, but today it was caught back carelessly in a familiar braid. It was fastened with a twisted tie-clip. Even tied back, its length teased at the end of his spine; it was always a talking point. Combined with his handsome, mobile features, and a tall, supple body, Duo Maxwell was always a talking point!

"Great morning, Heero!" he grinned. "The Atlas project is really shaping up, y'know? Fantastic ideas for the standard image - excellent new screen saver! And the data dictionaries are smart and ready to go! Donaldsons is spitting blood that we'll be ready to launch a month before them! Was that my coffee? Did you get me enough potatoes?"

The young man opposite Duo sighed at the non-sequiteurs. That was Duo all over! A mind that moved faster than most other people's - a body that followed only seconds later. Everyone knew when Duo Maxwell had arrived. And felt the gap when he left.

The other man at the table was probably of a similar age, but with very contrasting looks. He had dark, tousled hair, and his whole build was tighter; his demeanour more controlled. He exuded physical strength and confidence - even under the smart suit that marked him as senior management. He leant forward towards Duo with something like a scowl on his face - he, also, was good-looking, though in a very different way. His skin was darker - his eyes a deeper sapphire colour. His lips much fuller...lips that were the subject of many a (hopeful) graffiti scrawl in the toilets. Of both genders.

"Sit still, for God's sake, you're shaking the cups! Yeah, I got you enough potatoes, and - before you ask - the dessert is ordered. Costs me a damn fortune when you bum lunch off me!"

Duo laughed again, and started to eat. Heero watched him, fascinated as always. Duo often talked as he ate - he always had one eye on the other people in the room, as if he was wary of missing out on anything. He regularly used just his fork, so that he could gesture with his other hand. Heero forgave him any bad manners, because he always stopped just this side of outrageousness - and because he was the best programmer he'd ever employed for the company.

And perhaps for other reasons that he'd seen written on those same toilet walls. Though not him! Duo Maxwell had a reputation for generosity in many areas, and it seemed that other guys didn't seem to mind boasting about the more intimate areas on anonymous, white-tiled walls...

*

"Gonna need more technicians for the Atlas contract," Duo was gabbling. The food had almost miraculously vanished, and he was reaching for Heero's dessert as well. Heero pushed the plate over, resignedly. "You gonna hire me some better ones this time? Ones that can keep up with me?" He grinned, broadly. "Ones with blond hair, six-pack and a tan?"

"Huh?" Heero was scowling again. Duo thwarted him, regularly, in his quest to recruit the best personnel for the company. Duo chewed the trainee guys up and spat them out for breakfast. Duo took all his meals most seriously! Heero would have to seek out more hardy ones; he wished sometimes that he wasn't in charge of Human Resources.

"I don't recruit on the basis of a hot body, Duo. Not technicians, anyway..."

Duo pouted. Then abandoned the gesture, in favour of a chocolate bar. "Need to loosen up the criteria, Heero! We need some eye candy round the place. And you need to date more. What happened to that guy you were seeing, just about the time I moved into your spare room -?"

"Trowa..." Heero sighed. That had been six - seven? - months ago.

"I mean - you're young and fit, and you're pretty damn good-looking! And it was going OK, yeah? I remember that night you both came back after that Samurai movie, and there were some serious sucking sounds from the hallway before you came inside -"

"Jesus, Duo, were you spying on me?" Heero looked furious. There was some shifting of chairs from nearby tables. A few heads leant back to eavesdrop. Maxwell and Yuy were arguing again - it was always good value!

"No!" protested Duo.

"No?" hissed Heero.

"Well - no, I mean -" Duo was unusually embarrassed. "I wanted to make myself some café mocha, I was gonna read a book, I couldn't sleep, you keep that damned air conditioning on so high -"

"And the percolator's in the lounge? By the front door?"

Duo remembered his stealthy creep across the lounge carpet, and his crouching just inside the door to the hallway, and the way he'd pressed his ear almost painfully against the cold wood -

He hadn't known Heero Yuy for that long. He hadn't known whether he was gay, or bi, or whatever. It'd been research, hadn't it?

"Nah, OK, you got me there - but actually, I thought it was already on, and boiling, due to those sucking sounds from the -"

"OK, OK, enough!" snapped Heero. The table fell silent. Duo toyed with the bar of chocolate - snapped the last strip in half and ate it.

"So what happened to him, Heero?"

"Hn?" Heero's tone didn't encourage further discussion. That'd never stopped Duo in the past.

"Your date. What happened to him?"

"It wasn't gonna work," replied Heero, offering an uncharacteristic burst of personal information.

"You didn't give it much chance, man! Like - you'd only been going out a coupla weeks -"

"That was the last date, actually," Heero interrupted. "I didn't call him again."

"Shit -"

Heero almost laughed at the disgusted expression on Duo's face. "Dammit, Duo, we don't all have your riotous social life, you know! It doesn't matter. I don't mind, so I don't see that you should."

"It -" Duo coughed, self-consciously. "It wasn't 'cos I moved in, was it? Like - I cramped your style? Got in the way?" He looked a little shocked - like it had only just occurred to him. It had been just a laugh, the sneaking up and spying. That's all! Never mind the visions his imagination had conjured up in listening to Heero devouring some guy's face. Never mind that memory keeping him warm on a couple of his - admittedly rare - nights in.

Heero stared for quite some seconds, until Duo felt uncomfortable. It wasn't an easy state to provoke in him. He didn't know why the hell he let Yuy get away with it! Damn guy didn't even have blond hair. Though he knew his landlord had a pretty decent six-pack. Those were the dubious benefits of sharing an apartment, he supposed...

"Hn. No - you didn't cramp my style, as you say."

"So - what did he do? Your date? What did he do, to get himself dumped -?"

"Your inquisitiveness, Duo, astounds me..." Heero sighed. Only Duo could drag such a conversation out of him! "Trowa did nothing."

"Yeah, right, but he must've -"

"No, Duo. You misunderstand. When I say he did nothing, I mean - for me. No -" he paused, and there was a challenge in his eyes. "No spark. No chemistry."

Duo looked at him, curiously. "Right. Did I say you needed to loosen up? Dating - it's just for fun, Heero..."

"No, it's not," said Heero, firmly. "I mean, it can be, of course, but not with the wrong guy."

Duo was silent for a long time - or a period that qualified as such with him. "I shouldn't argue with that, should I?"

"No," said Heero, calmly. They caught each other's eye, then grinned, companionably.

The listeners at the nearby table sighed with frustration, and turned back to their congealing lunches.

*

"Hi, Duo..." came a shy murmur, as a young, blond-haired man stopped by their table. He stared at Duo, a broad smile stuck on his face like it had been glued there. Duo grinned back, amiably enough. There was some rather uninteresting silence between them. Heero put his fork down with a sigh. It wasn't as if this didn't happen regularly.

He glanced briefly at the man - noted, wrily, a light tan, and the suspicion of a budding six-pack under the thin work shirt. Then he reached out a hand and righted the man's tray, which was sliding dangerously down in his lifeless hands. A soda can rolled into Heero's lap.

"Yours, I think," he growled, and handed it back. The man was startled, as if he just realised who Duo was lunching with. His face was a combination of embarrassment and pure fear; with an apologetic grimace at Duo, he moved on to another table.

"Yo, you big tough Mr Manager!" teased Duo. "Damn near scared my date for tonight out of his cute little designer pants! What's up - pissed 'cos I ate your dessert?"

"Your date for tonight?" murmured Heero. "Do I know him?"

"Know him?" Duo continued, unmindful of the warning note in Heero's voice. "What d'you mean, Heero? Like - he works for you? You work for him? Or do you know him in a biblical sense -?"

"Jesus, Duo," groaned Heero Yuy. "Your speech is so ridiculously melodramatic..." He didn't want to swivel round in his chair, but it had to be done, didn't it?, to try to minimise any potential crisis. Lunches with Duo were always an event, and he so often had the feeling that he walked on a tightrope, stretched between the Chasm of Chaos and the Pit of Embarrassment. Why the hell did he let the damn man wind him up like this?

He checked out the blond guy, who was several tables away, and trying desperately to get an eyeful of Duo between some woman's pigtails and an artistically positioned pot plant. "Yeah, I know him. That's Evans, Duo. From Data Processing. He has a younger sister in Accounts, a pedigree cat, and he collects stamps of the world. I fail to see why you should suddenly show interest in him. What criteria are you working to? That he's a male, and can walk, and hasn't got cabbage growing from behind his ears? Shouldn't you at least be looking at guys who might look back? As far as I know, he's happily hetero..."

Duo snickered, and his eyes flashed with mischief. "That's what you think! Some things are not on file, y'know?" He stuck out his tongue.

"Oh yes, and that's very mature behaviour," snorted Heero. "Like you could maintain a relationship as an adult!"

There was a brief scuffle involving a good-natured curse, some squashed peas flying off Duo's knife, and an imminent disaster with the coffee cups, but then everything settled down again. Duo lounged back in his chair, munching through Heero's apple, and flipped open a magazine.

The people on the table behind abandoned any chance of a proper fistfight today, and took themselves off to the lounge for the rest of the lunch hour.

*

Heero had finished chewing carefully through his lunch. Unlike Duo, he'd suffer crippling indigestion if he bolted it. Duo always arrived late, yet finished early. Ate on the run; never suffered for it. It was the way of things. They were getting very used to each other's foibles.

"So where are you going tonight?" asked Heero. "You gonna be late back? Do I need to be so interested in something in my room that I don't come out until morning?" He pushed out a smile, though he wasn't sure he was feeling amused. He imagined what Duo and the boy Evans might get up to together - and he didn't think it was on either of their CVs.

It had been a long - and celibate - seven months, since Duo moved in. For him, that was.

And then Duo sighed. It was an unusual sound for him. "It's - no, it's just a date. Dinner. A beer. Something. The guy's OK, Heero. A bit keen, I know, but that'll pass. Don't worry - I won't ravish him. Probably won't even bring him home."

Heero liked it when he said 'home' like that.

"You don't have to go out so much, Duo. You can stay in sometimes. It's your apartment as well."

"Sure," smiled Duo, as if he never doubted it. "It's not that, Heero. I just - well, don't wanna bring 'em back, half the time. And I like being home with just you, just us suiting ourselves - you make good popcorn, y'know? If you'd just invest in a plasma screen TV, I may never go out at all...you think he's cute?"

Heero's mind had switched off at 'I like being home with just you', so he had to shake his head a little to catch up.

"Too young. Too earnest. Bites his nails."

Duo sighed, theatrically. He chose to ignore Heero's scathing précis, as a matter of course. He'd never known Heero to be impressed by any of his dates. If he didn't know that Heero had once joined in such vulnerable human activities as snogging, he might have thought the man could exist without intimate contact, and sleep all the sounder for it. That wasn't his way though. He liked company. Or whatever anyone wanted to call it. However...

"You may be right, Heero. I can't seem to pick 'em anymore. Nothing's sparking for me, y'know? Just like you said. Can't seem to find anyone who meets the Lurv spec..."

What a ridiculous way to look at such a serious thing! thought Heero. But he smiled, inside. That was another ridiculous thing - the way that Duo had that effect on him.

"So what is the spec, Duo?" His voice had grown a little husky. He was suddenly very interested in the emaciated core of his apple, the defenceless fruit having fought Duo's sharp, white teeth and lost resoundingly. Heero seemed to be staring at it with some sympathy. Or was it envy...? "What are you looking for?"

"Dunno anymore," Duo said. "Losing the heart for it, y'know..." He pursed his lips. Perhaps he was embarrassed. The pair of them didn't often talk quite so frankly about the subject. They were meant to be bold, happy-go-lucky young men, weren't they? He seemed a little distracted, though he was watching Heero's fingers quite closely, as they traced the shape of the core. His banter appeared to have escaped him for a moment.

Heero's voice was still soft. "Don't you want someone who's a friend - to share thoughts and opinions with? To spend time comfortably with?"

Duo's mouth twisted. "Kinda pragmatic, eh? But guess you're right. He must be a friend firstly."

"And -?"

"And a damn hot bod!" laughed Duo. He flipped the core up from the table, and into a nearby bin. The serious moment had passed! "Back to that spark again - gotta have it, eh? We want the same, don't we, Heero? Looking for the elusive Mr Right..."

Heero laughed, tolerantly. "Yes, I guess we do."

"I get him first!" said Duo, slyly. He peered up at Heero from under his fringe. There was a smudge of chocolate by the side of his mouth. It was Heero's turn to stare, and that's where he was looking. With some fascination. "You can wait around for his brother, OK?"

"OK," said Heero, slowly. Like he wasn't concentrating on the joke.

"Though I guess I haven't dated anyone remotely like that yet, have I?"

"No, you haven't."

Duo stared at his companion, a little suspiciously. Heero's voice was strangely devoid of emotion. Very cool. More so than usual. "But you gotta give me credit - I keep looking for him, don't I?"

"Yes, you do. Ad infinitum."

"Whatever. I just I keep dating - until I find him."

"Yes."

"But you don't, Heero. Keep dating, that is."

"No, I don't."

Heero slid his chair back carefully. His eyes sparkled with something very bright. And a little rueful. He smiled at Duo. "Gotta go..."

"Heero -! Just help me out a bit here!" Duo was blustering a bit. "If I'm still optimistically looking for Mr Right, why ain't you...?"

Duo screwed his eyes up, like he did when he was working out a particularly difficult programming string. Heero looked at the bright, mischievous eyes, darted through with sharp intelligence and relentless wit. He found a different expression there every day. It never ceased to amaze him.

He wondered, as an aside, why they always overheated the canteen, when there was surely enough body heat to do the job adequately.

"Work it out for yourself, Duo," he murmured. He stood, lifting his tray, the plates and cutlery stacked neatly, his lithe body unfolding gracefully. A couple of other diners scrabbled out of his way. He was great to look at, Heero Yuy - but not so easy to get to know. Most of them were a little nervous of him. After all, he held Ultimate Power over timesheets...

Heero laughed a little at Duo's puzzled expression. He needed to lighten the mood. "So I'm pretty damn good-looking, am I, eh?"

"Did I say that? Maybe," shrugged Duo. There was a suspicious smirk on Heero's face. Duo cursed his loose tongue, and the fact he'd given him some ammunition - he had a feeling that lunch had cost way too much today! "You'll do for some, I guess. For Mr Right's brother, anyways! You gonna finish that biscuit you got with your coffee?"

*

I've got flowers
And lots of hours
To spend with you

Pussycat, pussycat, I love you
Yes I do!
You and your Pussycat nose!


*

Later that night, and the door to the apartment slammed open forcefully.

"Shit! Shit! Shit!" came the furious yell from the lounge. Heero came out of the kitchen, a pair of scissors and a water jug in his hand. He was startled - he hadn't expected Duo back for hours. He thanked God he'd never put the apron on - the look on Duo's face would have been excruciating. Would he ever have heard the end of that abuse?

"What a cock-up! Achoo!" yelled a red-faced Duo. Heero wondered if he were still practising his Japanese, then he realised he was sneezing.

"Your hay fever?"

"Damn idiot brought me flowers!" gasped Duo, and sneezed again. And again. "What - achoo - juvenile jerk brings a guy - achoo - flowers on a date?"

Heero looked calmly at the wilting group of wildlife in Duo's clenched fist. "It's a nice thought. But there are too many ferns and grasses."

"Like - achoo - what?"

Heero stepped forward, and took the bunch out of his hand. "It's the seeds from the grasses that set you off. I remember from the summer. He should have got you blooms, not greenery."

"Should have got me a PS2 game," sulked Duo. "Achoo! Or a damn Ferrari." But he felt his nose clearing as soon as Heero took the infectious growths away.

"You think you deserve some kinda gift, then? On a date?" Heero couldn't help but notice that Duo seemed more annoyed at the offending bouquet than at cutting his date short.

Duo glared at him. Heero was back at the kitchen doorway, leaning against the frame. Arms crossed. That bloody smirk back on his face! Duo scowled. Heero looked cool tonight - low-slung track pants; sleeveless vest. He was in pretty fine shape for a pen-pusher. Duo wondered what he looked like, in comparison. He knew his clothes were good - the red silk shirt looked sexy against his skin; the jeans were tight and damned hot. But he'd just noticed he had mustard on his sleeve from dropping his food. His hair was all mussed from the sneezing. He reckoned his nose was bright red from it, too. He probably looked like Rudolph the Reindeer's longhaired cousin come to the city...

Ahhh... it was Heero, wasn't it? Didn't matter. Not really.

He was still surprised at the plaintiveness in his voice when he spoke again. "It's - just, tonight - well...I guess the poor sap was only trying - achoo - to be nice."

"Evans? Where is he, then?" Heero looked over towards the door.

"Christ, not here!" growled Duo. "No - he wasn't too impressed when I snorted half the contents of my nose over his hot dog..."

"Hot dog?"

"OK, OK, so no big expensive dinner, but that was his choice, right? I told him it was just an evening out - nothing special."

"But then the flowers -?"

"Yeah, and -"

" - the sneezing -"

"Yeah. Ka-boom!" gestured Duo, with his usual expansive demonstration. His braid whipped across his back - picture frames trembled on the bureau by the door. Heero winced.

"That's one way to cure a crush," he murmured.

They looked at each other, and a smile started to grow on both their faces.

*

Half an hour later, and Duo's sneezing had abated. He sat, a little forlornly, on the couch. Heero pottered in and out of the kitchen, clearing up his modest single supper.

"It's my birthday, y'know?" said Duo, quietly, when Heero next passed him.

"I know," replied Heero. He came back out to the doorway of the kitchen, and looked over at Duo.

"How?" said Duo, rather rudely. His mouth had fallen a little open. It was rounded into a large, lush 'O' shape. Heero's gaze dropped away from his blue eyes, and down to the red lips. "Oh, yeah - you're HR, aren't you? Guess you know everyone's birthday, what with your damn-near photographic memory -"

"I guess so," said Heero, quietly.

He brought out a bottle from behind his back, and a pair of glasses.

"Come into the kitchen, sit down, and drink this."

"It's got bubbles," said Duo, rather stupidly. He stared at the bottle, as he followed Heero into the kitchen. Looked like champagne. Looked expensive! He stared even harder, because something suddenly made him feel odd about staring back up at Heero. Then there was something else under his nose, and it was bright, and bold, and smelt good. And didn't make him sneeze!

"This is more like what you want," said Heero, confidently. Calmly. He put the vase on the table in front of them.

Duo gaped at the sight. A huge, spreading, richly blossoming clump of glorious blooms! It was the most fantastic splash of blazing colour he'd ever seen in one place; there were flowers he didn't know; hues he'd never seen outside of CG-world. It was magnificent! - he felt his spirits soar at once. He loved colour - he loved extravagance in any form. That's me, he thought. Too damn right it is!

"Christ, Heero, what sorta bunch is that? You mug a florist, or something?"

Heero had sat himself down, and was pouring champagne for them both - he took a long, leisurely sip. Duo's head snapped up at the sound, and his eyes followed the drops left on the dark-haired man's lips; the throb of Heero's throat as he swallowed. He dropped into his own seat, rather heavily. His hand reached out, and curled around the stem of his half-filled glass. Squeezed it, unconsciously.

Heero was unfazed. "How do you feel about them, Duo?"

"Whaddya mean? They're flowers, right?"

"They're a gift. For you."

"You mean - from you? Oh Heero, is this some kinda joke?"

Silence.

Duo coughed, trying to clear rather more than his throat. "They're - "

"Juvenile?" sighed Heero. He didn't meet Duo's eyes. He seemed busy with his glass, his fingers rubbing slowly around the rim.

Duo sighed, as well. "Ah... right. That's what I said, wasn't it? Sorry. Can't say I'd ever use that word to describe you, Yuy. Are you trying to tell me something here?"

"Am I?"

[cont]