Author: Maldoror
see chap. 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

//THIS// is Heero's entries on his laptop.

Trial and Error + Chapter 8

//Mission Duration: 10 days 10 hours.

Operation 2x3

Status: Uncertain

3 has strong protective feelings towards 2 and has even resorted to threats rather than leave him untended in a moment of vulnerability. This is promising. But 2 mentioned he considers 3 a friend. 2 is known not to lie.

This is going to be a problem. Fast running out of male acquaintances for 2. And it would be disastrous if 3 fell in love with him and it wasn't requited. This must be dealt with urgently. Maybe steps can be taken to persuade 2 - subtly of course - that 3 is a good match for him.

Additional objective: 2 mentioned having 'types', certain things he might find attractive in a mate. They seemed pretty important to him. Information required on that as well, quickly.//



The front door banged open and closed on the rainy night. A wet Quatre pushed pieces of luggage and his sunshine smile into the lobby.

"Hello! I'm home early-"

"Quatre, what kind of men does Duo like?"

"- the meeting got...cancelled......because.........what?"

"What's Duo's type of man?"

Quatre swayed a bit then looked back at the front door. "Am I in the right house?"

"Of course you are, Winner, you should know, you own the place! Now answer me."

Quatre walked slowly into the living room. "What brought this on?"

"There's someone who really likes Duo, and I think they may be right for each other, but I'm afraid he may not be Duo's type." Heero hedged. "What is his type? Do you know?"

Quatre's face almost exploded at the cheeks with the most brilliant smile Heero had seen on him since Cathy's skirt had been ripped off by a lion during the act. "Ohhh, wait. I see. Do I happen to know this person we're talking about?"

"Yes, you do, but I don't want to discuss it." Heero glared at him ominously, hoping he'd get off that line of questioning.

"Ah." The smile lit the room. "I'm glad. Okay. Duo's type. Well that's easy, he's been telling us all about his type for the last two years, there's been times I was ready to shoot him or myself just to avoid hearing it again."

Heero assumed that was a joke, Quatre rarely had any violent or homicidal tendencies nowadays. He nonetheless watched him carefully as the blond sat down, steepled his fingers and nodded wisely.

"He likes someone who gives him some challenge - oh boy does he like that - and who won't hesitate to tell him he's wrong when he's too stubborn to admit it himself. He likes someone who knows that he's more than a kidder, or a pretty face. Who listens to him and understands what he's saying, even the parts without words." Quatre started slowly.

Heero was busy taking mental notes so he almost missed the sharp look Quatre had given him. As if Quatre expected him to comment. Heero looked back at him blankly and Quatre continued, slightly deflated.

"He says his type has got a sense of humor, too, though it's not the obvious kind, but he likes - he would like Duo's jokes, and occasionally this ideal guy would pull a straight-faced one-liner that'd make Duo go all gooey for days."

"That sounds good." Heero said slowly. "But it's still a bit vague."

"Okay, okay, that's not all," the blonde added quickly, "his ideal guy would be strong, someone who knows how to handle himself in a fight, can pilot a mobile suit as well as Duo, knows what it's like to have been dragged through war, Hell and Hades then back again, as Duo puts it, and, er-..."

"Still vague, a lot of mobile suit pilots were severely tried during the war." Heero pointed out.

Quatre made a sound that could best be described as 'Nghnh!'

"Not finished! He's-...okay, I know looks don't make the man, but he does like them handsome, with dark hair, and slightly exotic features. And a face that is serious most of the time but when he smiles its like the sun's coming out. Still quoting Duo here. Is any of this ringing a bell?" Quatre was getting a bit red in the face.

"Yes...yes it does. I don't understand...why is Duo acting like he's not his type?" Heero muttered.

"Wh-what?" Quatre straightened in his chair, eyes wide and worried.

"Well, apart from the looks - and I don't think Duo is so shallow as to base affection on appearances - you could be describing this guy, but Duo didn't seem interested."

"Duo- looks - not- what- who is this guy?!" Quatre spluttered.

"Trowa." Heero admitted, feeling defeated.

"Trowa!?"

"Yes?" Trowa closed the front door, shaking rain from his hair. "Quatre!" His face lit up with a small smile - it wasn't a boiling ball of ultra heated hydrogen but it did have certain sun-like qualities in Heero's opinion - and he took a step forward. "You're back!"

"Am I?" Quatre said weakly, staring straight at the wall.

"Quatre? Are you okay?"

"I think I'm a bit tired. Er, Trowa? Could you do me a favor and help me take my luggage upstairs? Now?"

Trowa said nothing, just grabbed Quatre's suitcase and carried it upstairs quickly. Quatre stayed seated for a few more seconds, eyes wide and blind, hands loose in his lap, then he stood up slowly, gave Heero the strangest look, and left.

So much for Quatre understanding me better than the others, Heero thought sardonically, and tried to think of what to try next.


//Operation 2x3
Status: Discontinued

Was informed just now by 3 in no uncertain terms that he was not interested in 2. He looked a bit stressed, but there is no reason for him to be; he should be grateful to be set up with a great person like 2. Maybe he's coming down with 2's cold, he did seem to be quite agitated, and he kept rubbing his forehead as if he had a bad headache. Either way, he seemed very sincere when he said he was not interested. Completely incomprehensible how these two subjects who are friends and get on so well can be so certain they won't be good companions. Investigation required?

Next step: Get yet more methods for study, though am wondering if Relena is reliable source after all...//


"Friends?" Relena sounded very tired as she slumped at her desk, settling two white roses in a small vase on her desk with listless fingers. "Well, sure, friends make great lovers. Sometimes. I guess. But there's always the risk it won't work, and then the friendship can be ruined as well as the relation."

"Oh." Heero frowned. That was an inadmissible risk. Duo and Trowa had been right to not develop any feelings towards one another, apparently. He still had much to learn. He was getting a bit desperate. He'd even picked up a few more of Relena's romance novels, but somehow they weren't helping all that much either.

"So, it's better to fall in love with someone who's not a friend, is it?"

"Is it?" Relena's eyes were glazed. "I don't know anymore. I...let's just say, that's how it can happen. You're living your life, you think you have everything under control, you're not even thinking of romance, you're fine with just your friends, and suddenly, there he is, a complete stranger explodes into your life, you barely know him but deep down, you know it's him the instant you see him, and you can't stop thinking about him. Even when he ignores you, or when he makes you mad, or when he- Heero?"

"Yes?"

"I've got to tell you something-"

"Later, Relena, Daniels is waiting for me outside to-"

"Godammit Heero Yuy, sit down, shut up and LISTEN!"

The door crashed open, and Heero's gun was out and leveled at the figure there before the sound had even registered. Daniels also had his gun drawn and aiming at Heero, though he quickly twitched it up when he saw who it was. His brown eyes swept the room anxiously, settling on Relena.

"Minister? Are you alright? Who was shouting?!"

Relena was standing stiffly at her desk, her eyes fixed on Heero like a vulture watching something limping in the desert. "I'm fine, Daniels, please leave." She ground out.

"Er, okay, Yuy and I have to-"

"I need a word with Heero first, please. Leave." Relena was gripping her letter-opener in a strange way, and her eyes had not left Heero.

Daniels seemed to hesitate, eyes flashing towards the subject of her glare. "No can do, minister, we really need to take care of these details now, the peace rally is very soon and-"

Relena suddenly slumped down in her chair again. "Go. Take him away. See if he listens to you."

"Stay in the office until Wufei comes to get you. I'll be back after the rally and we can talk then." Heero said gently. He wasn't sure what Relena wanted to discuss but he had a feeling it was a good deal more personal than security details.

Relena seemed to perk up a bit at his words, and Heero closed the door thoughtfully behind him.

"I thought we had most of this afternoon covered, Daniels? Is there anything new?" Heero switched the Relena question off like a light, and turned to more immediate concerns.

Daniels looked at him with his usual serious expression, which melted into a smile. "Not really. But the way she was waving that paper-knife around, it looked like the minister could do with a time out before she went in front of a lot of mothers and kiddies and gave a speech about peace, love and understanding. Besides, did you really want to get chewed out?"

"Oh. I see. Thanks."

"Anytime, Yuy."

Heero wasn't sure he approved of lying to Relena but in this case she probably wouldn't have listened to sense. And she did need time to cool off, particularly since Wufei was the one who had to watch her this afternoon. The Chinese preventer was already pretty cross at the idea of guarding Relena during a Rally attended by women and the babies born since the end of the war. Heero had wanted Daniels to take that particular duty, as the idea of Chang in that situation made even the hardened soldier cringe; but it was Daniels' afternoon off, and Heero had to rest before taking Relena to the gala tonight. Heero winced at the thought of Relena and Wufei trying to act relaxed and cheerful while dealing with dozens of babies. Relena for one probably needed as much peace of mind before she went as she could get, Daniels was right.

That was what was nice about Daniels. As a preventer he was efficient and fairly reliable, but above all he was much better at grasping people's moods than Heero was. He knew how to listen to people, not just for information but their feelings and...

And...

Daniels...?

Daniels and Duo?

Heero stared at his colleague who had been reviewing the afternoon and evening's security arrangements, face serious. When he caught Heero staring, the serious look gave way to a smile, slightly uncertain. "Yuy?"

"Yes. That sounds adequate. This is your afternoon off, right?"

"Yeah. Er, you're off to have a nap before this evening I suppose?"

"No, I have something else to work on. I require little sleep."

"Oh. Ah, so, Yuy, want to have a coffee before you need to get to work on this 'something else'?"

The man apparently liked coffee a lot because this was the third time he'd suggested it to Heero. Also dinner, one time. He'd only recently moved to Sanq so he didn't have any friends here, Heero surmised, he was probably bored, maybe a bit lonely. Heero had refused automatically until now - he felt sorry for anyone who was lonely but he had enough of those to deal with at home - but this was perfect.

"Very well. I know a place nearby."

Daniels' smile grew even wider, and his eyes crinkled. He looked like he'd just successfully completed a particularly arduous mission. Heero knew his experience in human interaction was limited, but suddenly something clicked (he was rather proud of himself for that); Daniels must have been trying to become his friend. Heero frequently went out with Duo to that same coffee house, and he knew that Quatre and Trowa did too, it was something that friends did. That explained a lot. And was very promising if Daniels had not been turned off by Heero's past and soldier facade; it meant he would have the patience to deal with four other Gundam pilots, a braided one in particular.

[chap. 7] [chap. 9] [back to Maldoror's fic]