Author: Merula

Note: I like pet names. I use them all the time. Bri and I have some simply bizarre ones. Yes, I use some of them in here. Yes, I use some with my friends and I like it when the waitresses use 'hon' or 'sweetie' instead of 'ma'am'. Weird but true...

Pet Names

Trowa glanced out the window of our office. "Heero looks like he's going off to face a firing squad."

"Heero always looks like that when Relena needs him as a bodyguard for one of those all day legislation sessions," I replied, shuffling through the paperwork on my desk. "He says that he can't believe how rude politicians can get with each other."

Quatre, perched on Trowa's desk, laughed. "Bet he'd rather just shoot them."

"I know he's been tempted," I agreed.

"Still," Trowa shook his head, "he's spending all day with Relena. You think he'd like that part, right?"

"This is Heero," Quatre shook his head. "Practicality before love any day. Still, they've been together for how long now?"

"Three or so years," I replied, making sure my face was not giving me away. Quatre gave me an odd look anyway, so I looked back down at my paperwork.

"And still no proposal- no moving in together..." Quatre continued.

"Lena's a politician," I countered. "She just can't move in with her guy."

"They are pretty circumspect though," Trowa pointed out. "I haven't seen one article even speculating about them. They have a field day with us." He gave Quatre a smirk.

"You just like baiting them," Quatre laughed. "But you're right. You think Relena would at least turn it to her advantage."

I shrugged, my interest in this topic below zero. I waited everyday for Heero to come back after one of these body guarding assignments and tell me he was moving out.

"I wonder," Trowa's smirk widened a bit, "what they call one another."

"Huh?" I blinked up at him.

"Yeah- can't imagine Heero calling her 'sweetheart' or 'darling' can you?" Quatre giggled. "Maybe angel?"

"Honey?"

"Precious?"

"Munchkin?"

"Sweetie?"

"Pumpkin?"

"Pookie?"

"Snookums?" Okay, that was enough! The idea of Heero using any of those terms for anybody was inconceivable.

"Loverbunny?" I interjected and nearly laughed at the look of surprise on their faces. "No wait- that's yours isn't it Trowa?"

"How do you know about that?" Trowa frowned at me.

"My little secret," I winked. Not my fault people leave love notes on their desks where anyone could see them...

"Evil. Pure evil." Quatre sighed. "But really Duo- he's your room mate. You must've overheard something... does he have a pet name for her?"

"I haven't." I bent back down to the papers. "I don't listen in on Heero's phone calls- he'd kill me."

"Phone calls? Doesn't she come over?"

I had to think about that. "Once- right after we moved in- for a few hours when there was some kind of assassination threat or something. That was it." Quatre was giving me that look again.

"That is really weird." Trowa shook his head. "Well, if he doesn't have one for her, she has to have one for him. What would suit?"

"Prince?" Quatre suggested.

"He's not a dog," I rolled my eyes at him and Quatre cracked up.

"But isn't it puppy love?" Trowa had to keep going...

"Oh please, I think Relena is more refined than that!" I protested.

"Mon cher?" Quatre suggested with an arch look at Trowa.

"Mon amour?" Trowa raised Quatre's hand to his lips and kissed it.

"My little cabbage leaf?" Quatre's voice turned caressing.

"You guys are making me sick." I shook my head. "Only you two talk to each other like that. Can you let me get back to work? Quat drag Tro off like you intended to do when you came in here and leave me in peace."

"So grouchy, Duo," Quatre slid off the desk. "We need a pet name for you. Maybe that would cheer you up!"

"Don't you dare!" I mock growled and threatened him with a folder.

"Maybe you just need some other kind of stress relief," he suggested.

"Yeah right." I snorted at him. "Scat pest and let me go back to work."

They left the office, laughing and I sighed. I liked both of them quite a bit but there was only so much speculation on Heero's love life that I could take at a time. Bad enough I had to live with it.

I finished my work in a few hours and left the office, rolling the windows down in the car and letting the cool breeze wash over me as I drove home.

Maybe it was time for me to make the break and move on instead of waiting everyday for my roommate to tell me he was settling down with his girlfriend. Maybe I needed to find someone of my own.

I wasn't really sure how to do that. Go to bars? Advertise in the paper? Have my friends set me up?

Then again- Wufei was as solitary as an oyster, to paraphrase Dickens. Heero had Relena, but I didn't want to be set up with anyone in her crowd. That left Quatre and Trowa... No. I crossed that idea off of my mental list. I'd rather place a personal ad...

Heero's car was already there when I pulled in- Relena's meeting must have ended early.

Sure enough, he was on the couch, staring at the TV screen- which wasn't on. Those little tiny strain lines were at the corners of his eyes, meaning something had happened to worry him. I wondered if he'd tell me what it was.

"Hey Heero!" I kicked my shoes off and lined them up neatly by the door next to his. "How was the meeting? Boring as always?"

"Fine." His tone was hollow, as if he was answering mechanically. Something must be really wrong. I'd only heard that tone twice before and usually after something really bad had happened.

I went and sat down next to him on the couch. "You okay?"

He blinked a little then turned his head to meet my gaze. "You have a message on the machine."

My heart turned cold in my chest. For Heero to be this worried it had to be bad news. I flew to the answering machine and hit the play button.

"Hey Duo!" It was Quatre, his tone light and teasing. "Trowa and I are hoping we didn't drive you too crazy this afternoon. Let us take you out to dinner to make up for it? What do you say, you sexy muffin, you?"

Only Quatre. I had to grin, despite my worry. The machine beeped and I realized that was the only message. So that couldn't be what had flipped Heero out... I turned around to find that he was staring at me.

"What?"

"I didn't realize... uh... I didn't know..." It wasn't like Heero to stumble over his sentences. What was going on?

"Didn't know what?" I sat back down next to him on the sofa.

"That the three of you... that you were...."

"That we were what?" I realized later I should've gotten his point right away, but the concept was pretty alien to me. I mean, Quatre and Trowa are very exclusive and devoted- so my denseness was understandable.

Shut up- it was!

"Are you going to move out?" The topic switch threw me.

"Do I need to?"

"Don't you want to live with them?"

Live with them? Quatre and Trowa? Was Heero telling me he needed me to leave? But Relena had a palace! She wouldn't want to move here...

"Uh, no... Why would I?"

"Well, if the three of you are... lovers...."

"Lovers? Me and the Terrible Twosome?" I laughed. "Hardly!"

Heero looked up. "Then why did Quatre call you that?" Ah, I get it now. Heero was worried something was going on and I hadn't told him anything.

"He was being annoying." I shrugged. "He and Trowa were having a discussion about pet names in the office earlier and I told them to scram."

"Why?"

"Too sickeningly sweet for a single person such as myself to watch." I got to my feet. "Speaking of which, they'll more than likely be asking you what you call Relena."

He blinked at me. "I call her Relena."

"No pet name?"

"No, why would I have one for her? Isn't that a couples thing?"

"Not really." I shrugged and headed for the kitchen. "I mean I call the guys by nicknames... those would kinda count as pet names." Heero got up and followed me so I kept talking. "I think it's more of a friendly thing to do. You know, like how Hilde calls me sweetie whenever she needs a favor."

I was reaching in the fridge when the other part of what Heero said hit me. I pulled out a soda and turned to look at him.

"Wait- you and Relena aren't a couple?"

"No. She's dating Wufei. You don't have a pet name for me like you do for the others. Why?"

Relena and Wufei?!

I found that I needed to sit down. I perched on the kitchen table and took a slug from my soda to steady myself. "Did you say Lena's dating Wufei?"

"Yes." Heero stepped closer to me. "Aren't we friends?"

My brain was still trying to wrap around the Relena -- Wufei thing.

"How long have they been seeing each other?"

Heero drew in a deep breath. "Six months or so. Why are you avoiding my questions?"

Avoiding his questions? He'd been asking questions?

The rest of the conversation caught up to me. "Oh. Sorry. Of course we're friends. I just never felt comfortable pet naming you I guess..."

"Why not?"

Damn, I had to think about that one. Why hadn't I? "Um, because your name is already easy to say?" That was a dumb reason. Heero moved even closer to me and I hoped he wasn't going to slug me.

"Duo..."

"No one shortens my name either!" I pointed out.

"True, but Hilde calls you Sweetie. Noin calls you Trouble. Sally calls you Mischief..."

"Well, they're females! They use descriptive terms!"

"Quatre called you a sexy muffin." Heero cocked his head to the side. "And what does that mean? That you would be a stimulating item to have for breakfast?"

"I think he's just trying to irritate me."

"So he doesn't know what you'd be like for breakfast?" Heero was uncomfortably close to me now and I wondered why he was so upset about this issue. I mean, I guess it did look bad not having a pet name for my best friend- but all the ones I could think to use for him weren't appropriate for friends...

"No, thank goodness, since Tro would kill me." I shook my head. "Uh, Heero if this really bothers you this much, tell me what you want me to call you and I'll do it. I'm sorry I can't think of anything..."

Heero put his hands on my thighs and leaned close to me, faster than I could track.

My brain immediately came up with all sorts of words as his mouth touched mine.

Sweet. Hot. Sexy. Stimulating...

And then his tongue was brushing across my lips, his body moving closer...

And my brain left the building.

"Anything spring to mind yet?" Heero murmured against my mouth.

"Anything you want." I managed, wanting him to kiss me again.

"Lover?"

"Yes."

"Love?"

"Yes." And then his mouth was gone completely. He was still close though, his forehead leaning against mine. I saw those little worried lines by his eyes again.

"Do you think you could call me those?"

I blinked, realizing what Heero was asking me.

"Easily." The lines vanished. "Would you want me to call you those?"

"Yes."

I wrapped my legs around his waist and pulled him closer. "And what would you call me?"

His mouth caught mine again for a long moment.

"I think I'll stick to sexy muffin." He smiled against my skin. "But I'm thinking of a more substantial meal than breakfast right now..."

end

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