Author: Merula
Usual disclaimer: We don't own Gundam Wing.
WARNING: SEVERE RELENA BASHING Okay, so we don't like beat her up or anything... but we are pretty mean. Like we've said before- we just don't like her. We love all the other g- girls- Sally especially!- but not Relena.

Just a Date

Just another Friday at the office, Duo thought as he dodged two Preventers who were taking the halls at a breakneck speed. It was almost time for him to log out, and he was eager to go home and relax. It had been a hell of a week. But then, it always was. No rest for the wicked and all that. He stopped at a doorway and peeked in.

Heero was bent over his laptop, working away. Surprise, surprise. Duo stood in the doorway and watched Heero's fingers fly over the keys. If there was a love of Heero Yuy's life it was that damn computer. Duo grinned picturing the wedding ceremony- Do you take this laptop, to have and download...?

"What?" Heero grunted at him without looking up.

"What, what?" Duo countered. "It's Friday, it's 4:58, shouldn't you be shutting that thing down and heading home?" He leaned against the door. "Or are you going out with Relena tonight?"

"No." Heero replied.

"No, you shouldn't be shutting it down, or no Relena?"

"Both." Heero glanced at his phone, shoulders hunching a bit. Duo's eyebrows furrowed. That was a bit odd. Heero was looking- hunted? He had been looking a bit strained these days. Duo had noticed, but hadn't really processed it. He cursed at himself silently.

"So, you aren't busy tonight? Want to go to a movie with me?" Heero's fingers paused.

"Why are you asking?"

"Because," Duo said with patience. "You're my friend, I'm bored, I want to go see a movie, I don't like going by myself and you don't have a date with Relena, so you can go with me for starters."

"I'm not dating Relena." Yeah, right, Duo thought inwardly.

"Yeah, okay. So, will you go? At the least, turn that damn thing off now. It's five. Our shift is over." Heero punched a few keys and the laptop shut down. Duo silently gave himself a high five; making Heero stop working was usually more of a challenge.

"All right. I'll go."

"Yay!" Duo's smile brightened. "I'll come get you at 7, okay?"

"No way am I letting you drive. I'll come get you or I'm not going." Heero shook his head. "I'm amazed they let you keep your license."

"It IS amazing, isn't it?" Duo replied, undeterred, a sudden thought popping in his brain. "Okay, it's a date. You can drive, my car may not be fixed anyway and it's too cold for the bike."

"A date?" Heero's eyebrow went up. Duo rolled his eyes. Of course Heero had to fixate on his word choice.

"You know what I meant!" Still, it could've been worse, he could've mentioned...

"And what happened to your car?" Just then Heero's phone rang. Saved by the bell! Duo thought. Heero leaned over and hit the speaker button.

"Yuy here."

"Ah, yes, Mr. Yuy, this is Pagan."

"Yes?" Duo held back a groan as Heero replied. So much for a night at the movies. Relena was always dragging him off someplace.

"Ms. Peacecraft said that if you weren't doing anything, she'd like you to come over for dinner- at say 7?" To Duo's complete surprise, the corner of Heero's mouth quirked in a faint smile.

"Please inform Ms. Peacecraft that I can't be there."

"You... can't?" The butler sounded surprised.

"No. I have a date." Heero hit the hang up button, stood up and grabbed his jacket. "Get out of the way Duo. She'll be calling next." Duo trotted down the hall after his partner in amazement.

"She's going to be furious with you. You know that don't you?" Heero shrugged and hit the elevator button. "She's going to throw a complete fit. Go stark raving mad." Heero just shrugged again as Duo followed him onto the elevator. "Sheesh man. Just don't tell her it was my fault. She'll kill me."

"She won't kill you. She's a pacifist, remember?"

"Not when it comes to you, she's not. She's a freaking piranha..." Duo stopped and gave Heero a smile. "I'm shutting up now."

"That's a miracle." The elevator stopped at the bottom floor and the two young men got out. The pretty officer at the desk signed them both out and winked at Duo.

"Your car is still undergoing maintenance, Agent Maxwell. The mechanics said that it might not be ready until late next week. If ever."

"Ah- thanks Jean."

"What did you do to it?" Heero looked at him.

"Used it as a roadblock." Duo replied carelessly. Heero's eyebrows lifted to his hairline.

"Agent Chang said that you aren't to borrow his either or he'll beat the crap out of you." The desk officer added helpfully. "He left this for you." She handed him a bus schedule with a mischievous grin.

"I'll take you home." Heero shook his head. "A roadblock?" He asked as they walked out to the parking lot. "Were you in it at the time?"

"Yeah, of course." Heero glared at him. "Hey, it worked, okay? We caught the bad guys and all." Duo shrugged.

"Tell me," Heero said as they got in the car, "exactly what happened?"

Duo reached the end of his story by the time they reached his apartment building. "So, I swerved in front of them, the car impacted and by the time I got out of the wreck, Fei had them on the ground." Duo shook his head. "He was cursing at them in Mandarin and I don't even want to know what he said to me, but at least Sally was happy with us."

"I wondered why he told me that we needed to be keeping a closer eye on you." Heero slid the car into a parking space.

"He did what?" Duo said indignantly. "I don't need a babysitter- I am over 18, you know!"

"We know." Heero raised his eyebrows. "But that doesn't stop us from worrying." Duo gaped at him for a moment, stunned. Heero reached over and grabbed his duffel. "Mind if I just change here?"

"Uh, of course not," Duo grinned. "You're always welcome, you know that. Though, I don't think I can remember the last time you were here."

"When you moved in."

Duo opened his apartment door. "I'm HO-ME," he yelled cheerfully as he flipped lights on.

"Duo, you live alone." Heero pointed out.

"Not exactly." A beautiful Siamese cat sauntered down the hallway and meowed at his owner. "Hey there," Duo picked him up in one hand. "Were you a good boy today?" Heero shut the door behind them after retrieving Duo's keys from the lock. The cat rubbed his head against Duo's jacket and made an odd chirruping sound, almost as if answering Duo back. "Ah, that's great. I'm glad you had a good day." He gave Heero a sheepish smile. "This is Shiva." Heero reached out a gentle hand and the cat sniffed it delicately.

Duo rubbed the cat against his cheek before putting him down. "The bathroom is that way- go ahead and change." Duo headed towards his bedroom.

Duo came out of the bedroom twenty or so minutes later and found Heero sitting on his couch, Shiva purring blissfully in his lap as Heero fingers scratched the cat's chin.

"So, finally someone you like, huh?" Duo sat down next to them and scratched Shiva's head gently before he bent to pull on his boots.

"What?" Heero asked.

"Not you, him. That cat hates everyone I know. He scratched Howard, bit Hilde and frightens the neighbor's kids."

"Why do you keep him then?"

"Because he loves me," Duo answered. "Everyone else may think he's awful, but to me he's the best." He grinned at Heero, his eyes sparkling with laughter. "I just like the difficult ones, I guess."

"How is Hilde?" Heero opted for a change of subject.

"She's doing fine. I'm going to see her next month."

"I'm sure she'll be glad to see you."

"Yeah, she's hoping I'll manage to get her down the aisle and into Sam's arms without tripping. Ready to go?" Duo stood up.


"Hilde is getting married next month. Didn't I tell you?" Duo frowned. "Man, I'm slipping. I thought I told everyone!" He grabbed his jacket. "Do you want to go eat first?"

"Whatever you like," Heero shrugged and followed Duo down to the car.

They found a restaurant that wasn't too crowded and waited for a table. Once seated, Duo gave Heero a wicked grin and leaned across the table.

"All right, I've been patient. So, give."

"Give you what?"

"No, I mean, tell me why you're avoiding Relena? Trouble in paradise?" Heero frowned.

"What does that mean?" Duo read the warning signs and dropped the grin.

"Heero, you're with her all the time. She requests you as part of her bodyguard service any time she can. She recruits you as her escort for all those society parties." Duo shrugged. "Can you blame anyone for thinking there's more going on?"

"But there isn't!" Heero's hands tightened into fists. "It's my job to protect her."

"And, for you, that's all it is? A job?"

"Yes!" Duo leaned back thoughtfully and gave Heero a searching look. Then he raised one eyebrow and smiled.

"Well, speaking of office gossip, have you heard the latest about Noin?" Duo deftly turned the conversation in a different direction.

Duo's movie of choice was popular, the line to see it stretched nearly around the block. Heero waited patiently as Duo bounced up and down on his toes.

"I love going when it's like this," he said to Heero.


"I just like the energy. Everyone is excited. Maybe it's a first date," he nodded to two teenagers making shy conversation a few feet away. "Or maybe it's a group of friends who like to hang out together," his head tilted to the large group in front of them that was chattering and laughing excitedly. "Or maybe it's a 'night out' for the married couples, when they have a chance to relax and enjoy each other." He indicated a couple in their thirties, standing close and whispering at each other with smiles. "It's fun. You do know what that is, right?"

"Your definition or mine?" Heero rolled his eyes.

"Mine of course." Duo grinned. Then he winced. A little girl had come up behind him and yanked on his braid.

"Oops! Molly, apologize to the lady." Heero face twitched as Duo flushed.

"Uh, it's okay, ma'am," Duo turned around, putting his braid out of harm's way. The lady blushed.

"Oh, I'm sorry, sir!"

"Sorry sir!" The little girl in her arms piped and held out a piece of broken elastic. Duo eeped and grabbed the end of his unraveling braid.

"It's okay," Heero interjected. "We tell him all the time that he should cut it." The line suddenly started to move.

Duo had smiled and reassured the little girl but he swore softly as he entered the theater and sat on his hair.

"Ouch, damn it! I should've remembered to bring extra rubber bands."

"Relax Duo. I have my knife. I can just cut it off for you." Duo's eyes widened. Was Heero teasing him?

"Uh, no thanks. I'll be fine." He sighed and shook out his hair. "What?" Heero was giving him an odd look.


As the credits rolled, Duo turned to Heero. "That was exciting, right?"

"Totally unrealistic," Heero shook his head.

"It's supposed to be!" Duo protested and stood up, hair swinging. They walked out of the theater and stood in the lobby for a moment, letting the crowd thin out. "That's the whole point. You need to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy it."

"I'll remember that next time." Heero nodded.

"Next time, huh? So I can drag you off to a movie again sometime?" Duo gave him a questioning look.

"Of course," Heero's brows drew together. "Why do you sound surprised?"

"Well, in all honesty, Heero, this isn't usually your scene. Relena and her fancy dinners and evenings seem to suit you more than just hanging out with me." Heero hand reached out and tugged on a strand of Duo's hair.

"Idiot." Heero raised his eyebrows. "This was fun."

"Really?" Duo's eyes widened.

"Really. Even by my definition of it."

"Great," Duo chuckled as he grabbed his friend's arm and tugged him through the lobby. "Thanks." They headed towards the car.

"This was really nice of you, Heero." Duo said as they drove towards his apartment. "Other than work I haven't been out a lot lately. The other three are wrapped up in their things, Hilde's getting married and I don't really have much time to see anyone else. It gets kind of lonely. I mean, work is important and I know I'm doing well there, but it's just been a bit meaningless lately. I haven't had a chance to remember why we did everything we did. But, nights like this- seeing those people having fun- that little girl- makes it worthwhile. I mean, I know what we do for the Preventers is important, but sometimes the job seems to strangle me."

"Then you need to spend more time out where you can see the differences you're making." Heero pointed out.

"Yeah, but I don't like going out alone. Solo said..." Duo's voice trailed off.

"What did Solo say?" Heero was interested- Duo rarely talked about his time on the streets with Solo.

"Safety in numbers. Always have someone around to watch your back." Duo stared out the window. "He wouldn't approve of me living by myself like I do- hell, he wouldn't like the job I have either. Just another bully- boy."

"No, we're not." Heero said softly. "We are keeping people safe- just like he wanted you to do. Watching everyone's back- right?" Duo gave Heero a soft smile, unlike his usual joker's grin.

"Yeah, when you put it like that, it seems okay."

"Besides, you don't live alone," Heero gave Duo a slight smile. "You have Shiva."

"Shi is great," Duo agreed, "but not much of a conversationalist."

"So he's like having Trowa or I around, then?" That made Duo laugh.

Duo opened the door and was immediately jumped on by a frazzled looking Siamese.

"What's wrong Shi?" There was a loud beeping coming from Heero duffel in the hallway.

"My cell. Damn. Thought I turned it off." Heero went fishing for it as Duo closed the door and calmed the frantic cat. Heero retrieved the phone and silenced it. He scrolled through the calls received list, frowning.

"Work emergency?" Duo asked, his hand touching his cell.

"No. Relena. Damn silly woman called 30 times!!" Heero sounded exasperated.

"Well, you did tell Pagan you were going on a date. Probably freaked her out thinking you were with some other girl."

"So what if I had been?" Heero frowned.

"You really don't think you're dating her, do you?" Duo said wonderingly.

"Of course I'm not!"

"Ever kiss her?"

"No!" Duo's eyebrows lifted.

"Really? Not even a goodnight kiss?"

"A what?"

"You know at the end of a date, when you take the person back to their place and you give them a kiss, tell them you had a good time, all that stuff?"

"I don't date Relena!" Heero got to his feet, frowning at the phone. "I am not going to listen to all these!" He shoved the phone in his pocket.

"Can I?" Duo's face lit in a mischievous grin as he headed toward the kitchen. "Want some coffee before you go home?"

"No thanks. And you shouldn't have any either. You'll never get to sleep." Heero shook his head.

"It's the weekend, I can sleep in tomorrow." Duo shrugged. Heero phone rang. With a long-suffering expression he hauled it out of his pocket.

"It's her."

"Well, answer it. It's after midnight. She probably thinks you're out doing the mattress dance somewhere." Heero's eyebrows lifted as he mouthed the words 'mattress dance'? But he lifted the phone to his ear and pressed the answer key.

"HEERO!" Duo winced; he could hear Relena's strident tones halfway across the kitchen. "Where have you been?"

"On a date."

"A DATE! WITH WHO?" Heero's mouth quirked as Duo held up his hands in a silent plea.

"What does it matter?"


"I was at the theater with some girl?" Heero's mouth twitched. Duo bent double, trying not to laugh.

"Dorothy said she saw you there with some girl. A girl with long dark hair!"

"Ms. Peacecraft. It's late, I'm off duty and I don't see what business it is of yours what I do. Now, if you don't mind, I need to hang up." Heero clicked the phone off with an air of relief.

"I think I should be insulted that Dorothy didn't recognize me," Duo remarked as he caught his breath.

"It's your hair, baka. She's never seen it down."

"And if I value my life, she never will." Duo laughed. "If you value yours, you should stay away from Relena for a few days."

"Nothing would make me happier," Heero muttered. "She is always calling me. Always! Can I do this? Can I go there? I can't think up excuses all the time- I don't do much outside of work either, so I'm always trapped!" Duo's laughter faded at the tone in Heero's voice. He reached out and touched Heero's arm gently.

"Just tell her you're busy."

"I've tried. Then she shows up in that god-awful pink monstrosity of hers. Or she recruits me 'professionally'. It's annoying and tiresome." Heero frowned.

"I'll be your excuse, okay? If you can't think of one, tell her we have some kind of important stuff to do and I'll make sure that we do."

"Like tonight? I thought we said we weren't telling her I was out with you."

"You told her you were on a date. She'd never believe we were dating, Heero."

"Why not? Wufei, Quatre and Trowa are. Why would we be so unbelievable?" Duo blinked. What the hell was Heero getting at?

"It's- not that. It's just that she wants you and she won't think that you could possibly be interested in me that way."

"What if I was?" Duo's eyes widened. Then his phone rang. He looked at it, then at the clock and frowned.

"Who the hell?" Heero sat down at the kitchen table.

"Relena." Duo grinned evilly and answered the phone with a large fake yawn.

"Maxwell here."

"Duo, it's Relena."

"Relena?" Duo repeated in a puzzled tone. He yawned loudly into the phone again. "Oh, Relena. What do you need, ma'am?" Heero shook his head at him, mouth quirking in a smile.

"It's Heero."

"What about Heero? Has he been hurt?" Duo's voice changed as if he was suddenly right awake.

"No, no... He seems different lately."

"Different lately?" Duo repeated. "Relena, it's nearly one in the morning. Can you just tell me what you want?"

"Who is the girl Heero's seeing?"


"He went on a date with her! Tonight! Who is she Duo? You're his friend. I'm sure he told you." Duo's eyes lighted with mischief.

"The girl Heero's seeing?" Duo yawned exaggeratedly into the phone again as Heero raised his eyebrows at him. "I don't know about any girl. Honestly, I don't really try to keep up with his dating life, Relena." He heard the girl on the other end choke. "I mean, every other day practically some girl's picking up on him. Half the female Preventers slide to the floor when he walks by. You can't think..." Duo stopped. "Relena? Relena?" He hung up and glanced at Heero, a pout on his face. "She hung up on me." Heero was shaking his head.

"I'm not surprised."

"You'll be lucky if she's not calling up hit men right now to take you out." Duo grinned. "It might not be safe to go home."

"As long as she's not there."

"Nah. She's probably calling the others to pump them for info."

"Oh no..."

"Oh, it's not so bad. Depends who answers. Quatre would listen to her rant, Wufei would call her a stupid onna and hang up on her and Trowa would just put the phone down someplace and go back to sleep." Heero got to his feet.

"Thanks Duo. I'm not really good at handling..."

"I know. So, don't forget: I'm your backup, okay? Just like always." Duo tilted his head. "I had a good time tonight Heero. Thanks."

"Yeah. Me too. Even with..." Heero gesture encompassed the phones and turned into an apologetic shrug. Then he leaned forward and kissed Duo.

A long moment later, Heero pulled away.

"What... what was that for?" Duo asked when he got his breath back.

"You told me to. At the end of a date- the goodnight kiss." Heero's eyes took on a suspicious glint. "Didn't I get it right? I'll have to try again." He leaned forward again. A much longer amount of time passed.

"Heero... I was thinking. Maybe going back to your place is a bit rash- I mean Relena might be looking for you and all. Plus it's late-"

"Are you asking me to stay?"

"Uh- yes?"

"Good." He chuckled. "I want to see exactly how you make a mattress dance."

The phone rang early the next morning. "Maxwell here," Duo groaned into the receiver.

"Maxwell, we have a problem."

"Chang, do you know what time it is?" Duo glanced at the clock. Heero was already awake. He slid behind his lover and bent his head next to Duo's in order to hear the conversation.

"Yes. The sun's been up for over an hour."

"Ah, good for it. Why are you calling me?"

"Because Relena called us. She is furious. Apparently Yuy finally gained some sense and went out with someone else last night. The twit ranted at Quatre for over two hours about it last night. We tried calling Yuy's home, but he didn't answer and his answering machine said it was full."

"Relena's work, I'll bet."

"No doubt. Stupid onna. Then she called Sally."

"What the hell for?"

"Trying to get Yuy in trouble I guess. Sally reminded her that she wouldn't want the fact that she was acting like a raving bitch to show up in the newspapers, so Relena backed down. Sally called the Commander, just in case."

"What did our Lady Une say?"

"That she was going to attach a commendation to Heero's file for finally showing some sense." Duo laughed.

"It's not finally showing sense, Wufei. She's been stalking him for months."

"Quatre already knew that. He's been waiting for Yuy to finally get tired of it."

"Quatre's clever."

"So's Une. She made sure that the phone calls Relena made to Quatre and Sally were taped, just in case our Vice-minister wants to try something. We also need Heero's answering machine code to download those messages."

"You are evil Chang."

"I believe in insurance, Maxwell. It's a good thing Preventers policy requires us to have a recording on our phone lines. Sally said Relena damn near died when Sally reminded her that she was being taped."

"I want to hear that."

"Now who's being evil?" Wufei teased for a moment. "You don't know where Yuy is?"

"I didn't say that. I know exactly where he is." Duo looked up into Heero's face with a grin. "Do you need to talk to him?"

"Didn't I just say so?" Duo pulled the phone away from his ear and handed it to Heero. Heero took the phone, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Yuy here." He paused. "Chang? Are you there?" Duo smothered a laugh in the blankets.

"Yuy- uh- despite what Relena seems to think it wasn't a girl you were out with last night- was it?"


"Ah. Well, Quatre would like a copy of your message tape."

"Quatre? Not Sally?"

"Quatre owns a news outlet."

"Ah. Does he want the cell phone ones too? She left 30 messages on that one." Wufei conferred briefly with Quatre.

"Yes. Both please."

"I take it he has a plan?"

"Oh yes. One guaranteed to get Relena out of your hair for good- if that's what you want."

"I do, but- why are you guys helping?"

"For goodness sakes, Yuy!" Wufei let out an exasperated breath. "You are our friend- isn't that enough?" There was a brief pause. "Okay, so she also has been mentioning to Une that the Preventers aren't 'pacifistic' enough for her and she wants to have the whole organization restructured. She's also been hounding Quatre to close down a bunch of his factories in the colonies and relocate them to Earth- never mind that thousands of people will lose their jobs."

"So I'm not the only one she's driving crazy?"

"Not in the slightest. But Yuy- even if it was just you, we'd still help you, you know."

"I know."

"Okay, Quatre says to get those copies to him as quickly as you can. Can you retrieve them over the phone?"

"Of course."

"Good. It might not be a good idea to go home. Can you hang out at Duo's for the weekend?" Heero looked down at Duo. The braided man, who had been leaning against Heero's shoulder to hear the conversation, nodded and grinned.


"Great! Send us the copies and then meet us at Preventers HQ bright and early on Monday."

"Got it. Thanks Wufei."

"Anytime Yuy."

Heero handed the phone back to Duo who put it gently on it's cradle.

"So, you have to download those messages to Quatre and then hide out here for the weekend?"

"Yes. If that's okay?"

"Of course!" Duo grinned at him. "Go move your car into my garage space and I'll start breakfast. Then we'll download the messages and then I guess we'll have to find something to do to pass the time...." Heero laughed.

Monday morning, Heero and Duo arrived early at the Preventers headquarters. Quatre had called and asked Heero to meet him alone in one of the conference rooms. Duo went uncomplainingly to his office, there to discover tons of messages on their voicemail from Relena. With a sigh, he started copying and then deleting them.

"Heero," Quatre got to his feet with a small smile as Heero entered the room.

"Quatre," Heero smiled back. "I assume you have a plan?" Quatre raised his eyebrows, pleased with the emotions he was reading off of Heero.

"Of course I do. Let me run it through for you..."

Duo was surprised when Wufei leaned his head in the office door a half-hour later.

"Duo, Heero wants you to go and meet him in Conference room A-3, right away."

"Got it." Duo got to his feet with a sigh. "Damn woman left a dozen messages on the voicemail."

"Did she?" Wufei's eyebrows rose. "On your Preventer's voicemail?"

"Yep, filled up the box."

"Did she?" Wufei grinned suddenly. "I assume that's the copy? Can I have it?"

"Of course," Duo handed it over with a grin. "Are you going to let me in on Quatre's plan?"

"Eventually. He's still working on it. Heero's waiting..."

"I'm going, I'm going..."

Duo walked down the corridors that led to the conference rooms. When he was almost there, he nearly ran into Trowa.

"Oops, sorry. What are you doing here?"

"Just had a quick meeting with Quatre. They're waiting for you Duo. Better hurry!" Trowa patted him on the back and hurried down the hall- Duo's hair tie in his hand.

"Heero?" Duo opened the door and peeked in to room A-3.

"Yes," Heero was standing in front of the table where they usually interrogated prisoners, a bunch of photos spread out over the entire tabletop. "Une wanted us to take a look at this file. Aerial photos of a possible drug plant- what do you think?" Duo came to lean over the table next to him.

"It looks odd," he moved one of the photos to the side, and looked at the large map underneath. "It could be. It seems odd that a farm would need all that storage..." A strand of hair slid down over his shoulder. "Ah damn it!" His braid was unraveling.

"Must've lost your tie."

"Must've broke." Duo shook his hair out and groaned. "I'll go steal a rubber band from Sally later." He picked up a notepad from the table and jotted down a few notes as he and Heero studied the map.

"What about here?" Heero leaned closer to Duo and pointed to a place on the aerial photo. "Doesn't that look odd?"

Suddenly the door behind them was flung open. "HEERO!" A familiar voice filled the room and Duo cringed, not turning around.

"Relena," Heero turned slightly, not moving away from his partner.

"You're here with HER? Is this the TRAMP you dumped me for?" Duo stiffened, realizing that his hair was down and from the back, Relena didn't recognize him. "Duo SAID the women here were chasing you like BITCHES IN HEAT!"

"I did not!" Duo protested under his breath.

"I didn't dump you Relena," Heero had turned around and was leaning against the table.

"How can you say that to me Heero? Don't you love me anymore?"

"I never loved you in the first place."

"Heero! You're just saying that because she's here!" Duo put his hands over his face and shook his head.

"Come on Relena. Did I ever hug you? Kiss you? Tell you that I loved you?"

"No... but you aren't very demonstrative Heero!"

"Or I just don't care for you that way." Heero looked her coldly in the eyes.

"You will, Heero," Relena's voice matched his ice. "You'd better."

"I'd better?" He repeated.

"You forget who you're talking to. I'm the Vice-Minister- or did you forget? You'd better forget that little whore of yours and realize what's best for you and this organization you work for."

"Are you threatening to close down the Preventers if I don't date you?" Heero's eyes widened.

"It's not wise to offend me, Heero. All I'm saying is that you'd better think about what you'll be doing if you refuse to acknowledge your feelings for me. That piece of ass next to you isn't worth your job, is she?" Duo's temper finally snapped. He turned around quickly and was gratified to see Relena's eyes widen.

"I'm not a whore, a piece of ass, a tramp or a bitch, Miss Peacecraft. Please stop calling me that."

"Duo?" Relena's eyes widened. "Oh- I- uh- thought you were someone else."

"Obviously." Duo's voice was chilly as he gathered his hair behind his head. "And if you don't mind, Heero and I have some work to do. You know, protecting the world and all that?"

"Well, Heero," Relena pulled herself together. "You just think about what I said. I'll be waiting for your answer." She swept out of the room and Duo turned to look at Heero.

"What are you going to do?"

"What can I do?" Heero smiled faintly. "Let's take all this stuff up to the office to type our report, okay?"

That night, Heero drove Duo home again. When they got there, he insisted on coming upstairs. "The news is going to be on in a few moments and I want to watch it."

He tugged Duo down to the couch, wrapping the braided man in his arms as he turned to the right channel.

"What are you up to, Heero?"

"Shh," Heero kissed his ear. "Just watch love."

"Our top news story tonight," the anchor announced as the show started, "Relena Peacecraft- the government stalker. Our news teams discovered a fascinating story right in our own city!"

"No way!" Duo turned to look at Heero, who was grinning maniacally.

"Quatre's plan," Heero answered.

"We all know this young man," the anchor continued. "Heero Yuy, gundam pilot, Preventer. A protector of the world. This young man has been hounded by Miss Peacecraft, unable to have a life of his own, forced to be by her side in order to keep the organization he works for going. That's right!"

The picture changed then, showing a view of the Preventer's conference room.

"They were behind the mirror?" Duo gasped.


On the screen, Relena was talking to Heero:

"I'd better?" He repeated.

"You forget who you're talking to. I'm the Vice-Minister- or did you forget? You'd better forget that little BEEP of yours and realize what's best for you and this organization you work for."

"Are you threatening to close down the Preventers if I don't date you?" Heero's eyes widened.

"It's not wise to offend me, Heero."

The picture shifted again to a distraught looking Relena standing outside her mansion, surrounded by reporters.

"I don't know where this vicious lie started..." She was saying.

"Miss Peacecraft- they caught you on tape at the Preventers' HQ threatening Mr. Yuy!"

"And what about your phone call to Ms. Sally Po where you told her to fire Mr. Yuy?"

"And what about all the threatening messages you left on his cell? His answering machine?"

"Did you know leaving threatening messages on the Preventers' voicemail was a felony?"

Relena looked stunned.

The anchor was back. "Many influential people today were calling for the Vice Minister's resignation..."

Quatre was standing on the steps on the government building, Trowa and Wufei silent shadows behind him.

"I think that Miss Peacecraft has shown that she doesn't practice the ideals she preaches. I was very disappointed to hear that she was threatening my old friend. Heero is committed to the Preventers and what they stand for- it had to be very difficult for him."

"Was Mr. Yuy ever in love with Miss Peacecraft? Did he lead her on?" A reporter called.

"Certainly not!" Quatre snapped. "In fact, Mr. Yuy has always been professional in his dealings with Miss Peacecraft, as the records will show."

"Who is this 'other lady' in his life that Miss Peacecraft mentioned?" Another reporter called out.

"Mr. Yuy's private life is just that- private."

Duo turned to look at Heero again as the news went on to show other politicians and their responses.

"And all I did was ask you out to a movie," he said with a faint smile.

"Ah, it was more than that, lover." Heero nuzzled against Duo's neck. "You saved me- again."


[back to Merula's fic]