I knew he'd kill me. The problem was… it might have been worth it.
On the colonies, machines control the weather. L2 colonies rarely got snow, and when they did, I had more important things to worry about than playing in it. When you're busy trying to find a place to hole up so you don't freeze off your fingers or your toes, you don't tend to see snow as fun. I think that deprivation made me a little nuts. How else do you explain the fact that I was seriously considering chucking a snowball at Heero Yuy's head?
Surprising the guy under most circumstances wasn't exactly a stellar idea. Surprising him with a cold, wet projectile behind the ear was probably proof of a death wish. But I had the image of him bug-eyed and stupid looking with shock running through my brain now. I couldn't pass up an opportunity like that.
Shit, I was going to die eventually, anyway. Might as well go out with style.
So I made a snowball, watching my target for any sign he knew or cared I was behind him. The snow kept falling between us, catching on his shoulders and in his uncombed hair. I didn't really know what he was doing—he seemed to be just standing there. Maybe he was thinking, or watching the snow. He could have been waiting for aliens to pick him up. Hard to say with Heero.
I aimed carefully, pulled back, and paused. I like to think I have a fairly well developed sense of self-preservation. He was going to kill me if I did this, no ifs, ands or buts. If I ran he'd catch me. Or just shoot me. If he got his hands on me, he'd break me into teeny little Duo pieces and feed me to squirrels.
And, I decided, I could handle that. I threw the snowball. The second it stayed airborne seemed to stretch into an eternity. I swear I had long enough to realize the weird space-time phenomenon and thoroughly compare it to what I'd been taught about Purgatory way back when, all before it hit Heero squarely in the back of the head.
Heero did what every other person who ever lived does when they get hit unexpectedly with a snowball. He pulled a ridiculous pose; tense, arms away from his body, weight too far forward on his toes. I couldn't see his face, but I could picture it enough. I couldn't have repressed my smile then, even if I had tried. I could see the snow fall down the back of his neck and under the collar of his coat.
"I'm so dead," I said to myself as he turned toward me, eyes narrowed murderously. I was still smiling. Then I ran.
I didn't make it twenty yards before he caught me. His arm hooked around my waist and flung me face first onto the ground. At least the snow softened my fall. I laughed.
Heero's weight came down on my back. Here it comes, I thought and waited for the gun. I couldn't stop laughing, though. It was still just about funniest thing I'd ever seen.
I didn't stop laughing until something incredibly cold hit my spine.
"Shit!" I gasped as a second handful of snow followed the first down the back of my shirt. It melted almost immediately, soaking into my clothes and trickling across my skin. Choking and sputtering, I tried to push myself up, but he had me pinned. All my struggling didn't do a damn bit of good.
"Christ, enough!" I shouted as he scrubbed snow into my hair. I was really, really cold. Not surprising, given the circumstances, but still. Then it struck me: I was alive. I was alive, and I had just lost a snowball fight to Heero.
Heero's silly face suddenly became the second funniest thing ever. Two teenage terrorists wrestling in the snow was funnier. What a pair to strike fear into the hearts of OZ, the Alliance, Whitefang, or whatever the villain of the day happened to be! I was laughing again, so hard my lungs hurt.
I think Heero assumed I'd lost what little grip of reality he credited me with, because that's when he got up. I was actually a little disappointed.
Then he hauled me up and back on my feet. If I squinted and tilted my head just so, he looked like he was smiling too. "That was stupid," he told me, brushing some snow off my coat. Hell of a lot of good it did, since I was already soaked. "I nearly shot you."
"I thought you were going to," I said flippantly. "You should have seen yourself!"
He shook his head, pretending not to get it. Hey, I'd seen his almost smile. I knew he'd had fun tackling me. But I'd humor him and ignore it.
"We should get going," I said, after a minute of enjoying the quiet and the snow. "Une's expecting to hear from us."
He nodded, then smirked. "You go first."
"What?" I protested. "One little snowball and now you're not gonna trust me anymore? I'm hurt, man. I thought we were better friends than that."
Heero cocked one bushy eyebrow in that way he has that says, "I am not even going to dignify that with a response." It's amazing how expressive the guy can be without really doing or saying anything.
I sighed and started slogging off toward the truck. A moment later, I heard him follow, sneakers crunching throw the snow behind me.
As I was unlocking the truck, a snowball hit me hard in the back of the head.