Author: Rae
Feedback: I'd beg and plead. Pretty please with a cherry on top? I'd offer Duo, but Heero ate him *snicker*.
Disclaimer: Don't own it, them, or me, so there.
Summary: After an emotional roller coaster of a weekend, things seem to be finally coming to a head. *laughs* (That's the second bad pun before this chapter even starts. Be afraid, be very afraid.)
Additional notes/warnings: 1) I found the most deranged Japanese phrases. Don't be surprised if I throw them in here for fun.
2) This fic was written for my fun and amusement, and it will stay that way, or my name isn't Rang Jane! (Which it isn't, but that is beside the point).
3) Suzume, after reading the last chapter and the explanation about the pills, wrote to me: "What, he couldn't get it up for Relena? *snicker*". I just thought you'd all like that.
4) Minor squick factor coming up. Nothing too bad, but after having Duo throw up on Heero 3 times and reading a 3x4 that talked about the trust imparted when you don't -need- privacy from your lover (which was very nicely done, by the way, though I don't think I reviewed, sorry), I figured that it was time for a little pay back. No details, but there's no warning, so you'll either notice when it begins or you'll walk into it blindly, and I'll just apologize now. But the event is important (kind of), so it stays.
5) This part has lime, but no lemon. That's right: NO hot and juicy sex. Instead, we have angst, a confession, and more information than you all wanted.

Contact at Pub in a Tub + Part 6

Tuesday morning wasn't any better than Monday, but at least this time he felt more forewarned for the day ahead. He'd have to deal with Heero on a professional level, and possibly on a personal one, without letting anyone catch on to what was happening around him. Assuming, of course, that the day went according to plan.

He slowed his steps and looked for a way around, but Une was standing in front of his door. Her eyes were dark, her face stiff. He took a deep breath, his mind drawing blanks in its search for a reason to have a visit from his esteemed office manager.

"Have you seen my brother?" She asked point blank. He opened his mouth to reply, but shut it again when he realized that he wasn't in trouble. He turned his head slightly and watched her out of the corner of his eye.

"No. Why?" he asked cautiously.

She sighed, her whole demeanor softening. "Treize was supposed to meet me for breakfast this morning and he never arrived." She sounded genuinely worried. "He's always punctual, so I stopped by his apartment, assuming that he wasn't feeling well, but he wasn't there."

Duo shrugged. "I'm sorry, but I haven't seen him since the day before yesterday, I think. He looked okay, then. Maybe he was dealing with one of the other tenants."

"Possibly," she agreed. Then her face tightened back into its usual scowl. "Is your report finished for Mr. Yuy?"

Before he could answer and tell her that, honestly, he'd never had a chance to work on it, Noin came striding towards them, calling Une's name. "Mr. Yuy isn't in his office. According to his secretary, he hasn't made an appearance at all this morning."

"I'll call his house in a moment," Une said calmly. Noin shook her head.

"He's not there, his secretary tried. That's not the whole problem, though. There are five executives who have been sent by Winner Corp to check on the progress of our new president and they're insisting that they speak to him today."

Duo looked over her shoulder to see five old men approaching, looking like the most rag-tag group of ornery execs he'd ever seen. Une and Noin straightened to greet them and Duo eyed the door to his office longingly.

"You must be Mrs. Une," one said, his hair a dark mushroom cloud over his head. He held out his hand to Une, and they shook.

"Please, just Une," she said softly. Duo did a double-take at her sudden change in attitude. She smiled coyly and he nearly fainted from shock. "I apologize for our missing president, gentlemen. Mr. Yuy is not in right now, and we're out of contact with him. We do expect to see him after noon, though. I do hope I wouldn't be infringing on you too much to ask you to wait?"

"Yes, you would," another said. He was hunched over and leaning on a cane. His spectacles seemed to be a part of his face and his right hand looked grossly prosthetic. "We have better things to do than sit around waiting for some rookie to scramble at the last minute to get everything in order. This is just more proof that Heero Yuy is unprepared for the task set before him."

Duo narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth. Une opened her mouth to try to smooth things over, but Duo could tell that it was too late for her style of diplomacy.

"Cool down, old man," he said with a grin, moving forward so that he was in front of Une and Noin. "Heero's not here, but there's a good reason for that." He was sure of that, even if he didn't know what the reason was. "I'm on my way right now to find him. Since you earn the same amount of money whether you wait here or go back to your stuffy offices, you may as well have a seat in the main conference room."

Without giving them a chance to respond, he turned to Noin and Une. "Call down to Mindy's on the corner and order in a catered lunch. Get these gentlemen whatever they want."

Noin nodded and Duo pulled Une away. "Get in my Roledex and look up Quatre Winner. Explain the situation and tell him that he owes me for the pumpkin pie. I'm going to search around and see if I can find Yuy-sama. That man is going to hear it when I get ahold of him."

"Just find him and get him back here, Maxwell, and I'll love you forever," she said very seriously. He grinned and let her go.

"Why, Une! I never knew you had it in you," he teased as he walked away. His mind turned instantly to finding Heero.

The woman blinked as she realized exactly what she had promised. She sighed, almost hoping that he -didn't- find Heero.

+

His first stop was the Pub in a Tub to see if maybe Tayles could talk to Dorothy. The sight that greeted him was not a happy one. Tayles was stomping around the pub, rag in hand, growling and snapping at any customer who spoke above a loud whisper.

"Tayles?" Blood-shot eyes zoned in on him and he barely restrained from taking a step back. The ginger-haired woman stepped toward him and pointed a finger accusingly.

"This is all -your- fault," she hissed. "If it hadn't been for you, that demonic woman wouldn't have found me."

"Um... are you talking about Dorothy?" he asked as she drew closer.

"No." She rolled her eyes. "Yes, I'm talking about that woman! Do you have -any- idea what that -psychopath- did to me last night?"

"Um... something you didn't enjoy?" he guessed hedging. She chucked the rag at his head and turned on her heel to stomp back to the bar. He followed slowly, watching her warily. Someplace behind him, the rag lay forgotten on the floor. "What did she do, Tayles?"

She turned to look at him, this time looking a little calmer. "What did she do? The woman got me knackered by two in the morning, let me sleep, woke me back up at six to drink -more- champagne and then she -kindly- drove me to work. I'm still wearing the clothes I was wearing yesterday, for goodness' sake! I feel dirty and gritty, and my head is pounding and my stomach is revolting, and if the world doesn't stop spinning soon, I'm going to vomit into every drink I serve!"

"And that would just be disgusting," Dorothy said softly as she came into view at Duo's side. He glared at her, but she ignored him and turned her attention to Tayles. "I'm sorry, baby. I didn't realize that you had to work. I thought you said that you lived upstairs."

"I -do- live upstairs you chattering twit! And I -always- work the morning and evening shift through the week. If you'd bothered to ask, you'd -know- that I have to work this morning."

"Oh, darling. I -am- sorry," Dorothy purred, sounding anything but apologetic. Tayles looked at her for a moment; Duo waited expectantly for her to whip a gun out of her apron and shoot Dorothy. To his surprise, her face softened and she leaned on the counter, closer to Dorothy.

"I suppose that it isn't your fault. I could have refused the drinks or told you that I had to work today. But I honestly didn't think about it." She shifted and smiled. "Of course... YOU STILL COULD HAVE ASKED!" She whipped the spray nozzle that she used for tap water out of its holder and turned it full force on Dorothy.

Duo gaped as the woman gasped and stepped back, her eyes flying to Tayles in surprise. "You... you... " she spluttered.

Tayles shut off the water and grinned proudly. "-I- just sprayed you and your five-hundred dollar suit with rusty tap water. What do you think of that?"

The blonde breathed deeply, her eyes narrowed slits. "I -think- , "she started slowly, "that I underestimated you. You've surprised me." She smiled. "I like that. Ten tonight and I promise to have you back before dawn this time."

Duo waited for Tayles to shoot her down, but the bartender nodded. "Fine, but this time, no alcohol."

"Deal," Dorothy agreed. She turned and sauntered out, still managing to look haughty and proud despite the fact that she was dripping water.

"Um, Tayles?" Duo said her name hesitatingly. "What the hell just happened?"

"Well, I can't be too sure, but I think I have myself -another- date with the Wicked Witch of the West."

"And for some reason, you don't sound upset about that at all," he said wonderingly. She grinned back, looking more like her old self and less ready to kill someone. "Did I miss something?"

"Not really, guv. I just don't think she's as tyrannical as she'd like everyone to believe. Underneath that savvy-bitch façade lies a... well, a savvy-bitch, among other things."

Duo laughed and then remembered his purpose. "I should have asked her while she was here. I'm looking for Heero. He didn't show up for work today. He has some kind of big meeting but isn't around to attend."

"Did you try his house?" she asked, looking worried.

He shrugged, frowning. "His secretary did and said that she didn't get an answer."

"I think you should go over there, Duo. Maybe he's sick or injured, and can't get to the phone." His eyes widened at the thought and she held up a hand before he could worry too much. "Look, he's probably okay. Just go to his house and see if he isn't there. If you can sneak inside, you might be able to find a calendar or something."

"You're right. I can't just sit around here and hope that he shows up." He turned to leave, but stopped and faced her quickly. "I hope that your date goes okay, but I would suggest staying away from large bodies of water while you're with her."

"I had planned on that, but thanks for the warning." She smiled and watched him start to leave. "Duo!" She called as she remembered something. "You're friend was in earlier."

He stopped and turned. "Which one?"

"The dark-haired one that specializes in being miserable and cranky. I think he's the one you call Wuffie."

He smiled and nodded. "Yeah. Did he say anything?"

"No, but he was smiling. First time I've seen him in a good mood."

"Wufei was smiling?" he asked, his brows drawing together as he drew a mental image. "Huh." He paused on the threshold and looked back at her. "He was smiling?"

"Yeah," she answered. He shook his head. First Treize disappeared and then Fei was smiling. It was an odd day.

+

[cont]