This is my current project - hope you like it, but whether you do or not, please let me know so I can improve - thanx! Anyway, the first few chapters will mainly be setting up background for the rest of the story, but please stick with me until you see where this is going...neway, I'll stop waffling now...please read!

The first thirty seconds were the most important. In those thirty seconds it was decided whether or not you would get the job. Relena took a deep breath, composing herself before stepping through the carefully neutral door. She was going to make this interview work. She needed this job too much to mess it up. Here goes, interview number twenty-two. A bright smile pasted on her face, Relena opened the door, stepped inside and surrendered herself to her destiny.

The man at the desk looked up from whatever he was writing and looked directly at Relena. Eye contact, she thought, very important. Ignore the fact that her prospective boss was drop dead gorgeous...keep smiling. Eyes locked on his, friendly smile and hand extended elegantly in preparation for the carefully rehearsed handshake. Check, check, check. She was ready; this was going to go fine. Job – here I come!

Heero saw the accident coming, but was too late to stop it. He'd just managed to get to his feet when the interviewee caught her toe on the slight step leading up to his desk area and disappeared with a soft thud and startled expression on the far side of his desk. He himself had caught his foot on that stupid step at least twice a day since he'd moved to this office to take interviews.

"Are you hurt?" he started quickly around the desk, concerned, but perhaps more for the potential lawsuit than the health of his potential employee. She was already pushing herself to her knees, and then onto her feet. The heel on one of her shoes had become twisted, and Heero laid a hand on her arm to steady her as she wobbled. This close he noticed the deep blue of her eyes, and the crystals of tears on her lashes. Little did he know that they were not tears of pain, but tears of frustration.

"Excuse me a second" She perched on the edge of the chair beside her and undid the buckle on her show. Seconds later the pair lay discarded on the floor. Heero watched, gob smacked and somewhat at a loss for words.

Relena picked up her shoes in one hand and slung her bag over one shoulder, fighting the urge to either burst into tears or bash her head off the nearest hard surface. With great control she turned calmly to the man beside her.

"I'm terribly sorry to have wasted your time. I wish you the best of luck in finding the right person for this job. Goodbye"

Head held high she began the seemingly endless walk to the door, trying to ignore the burning of the interviewer's eyes on her back. She'd already screwed this up beyond belief and so, no matter how much her ankle was twinging, she was determined to exit with dignity. Just a few more steps to go...

"We haven't had our interview yet"

She spun round quickly in disbelief and immediately regretted it, as pain shot up her leg in a vicious burst.

"But..." She gestured helplessly towards his desk with her ruined shoes. The man shook his head, took a seat, and indicated the chair in front of him. Relena sat down, incredulous, but her disbelief quickly turned to anger. How could he make her sit through this interview when she'd already lost the job? Stupid, unfeeling...she continued to list every insult she could think of, while attempting to answer the man's questions calmly. Heero found it amusing as he caught the tail end of her insulting mumbling, and yet, she still smiled as she answered the problems he posed. Relena's annoyance began to fade as she was drawn into the conversation – she really was interested in a job in this field, and even getting to the interview stage was better than going back to low-paying, part-time jobs she was forced to take up to survive.

Heero watched her with eyes like a hawk, as she became animated in the conversation. He'd been strangely affected by her ability in dealing with the accident, and the dignity with which she prepared to leave, even though it was obvious that her ankle was causing her pain. So he had asked her to stay. And as the interview progressed his first intuitions were proved as she displayed tact and diplomacy in not telling him exactly how she felt about him making her stay after humiliating herself. They could use someone with those skills in the company. He was further impressed when she showed a solid knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of his corporation. Heero had built his business on his back and it was his everything.

By the time Relena had left, Heero had already decided she was getting the job, but protocol prevented him from telling her. If nothing else, she would fit in perfectly in Duo's department – dealing with the people Heero was so awkward around.

Relena stood on the bus in a foul mood, glaring daggers at anyone who dared to stare at her stockinged feet. She didn't have the money to waste on a taxi fare, let alone a new pair of shoes. She switched her bad mood to the offending shoes; she'd saved up the money to buy them especially for this interview and they'd caused her nothing but trouble. By the time she got off the bus it was raining and she'd forgotten to bring an umbrella. The pavement was cold against her feet, and she kept a lookout for glass, as the thin material of her stockings would provide little protection. Could this day possibly get any worse?

As if in answer to her question a lorry drove through a puddle next to her and soaked her in muddy water. Her shoulders fell lower and lower as the rain and cold seemed to strike right through to her heart and soul and stick there. Her tears mingled with the raindrops on her cheeks, and she began to shiver as a cold wind started up, driving the rain towards her. She trudged on as the light faded, feeling as if there was no hope left in the world.

Relena had never been so glad to get home. With trembling limbs that had suddenly been drained of energy, she turned her key in the lock. A wave of warmth washed over her and she heard Josh and Hilde laughing in the living room. Relena debated going straight to her room and cleaning up before saying hello, but Hilde heard the door close.

"Lena? How'd it go?"

"You don't want to know"

Joshua came running out to meet her, throwing his arms around her waist before realizing she was wet.

"Mummy! Guess what me and Hilde did today?"

Relena tried not to let her exhaustion show as she chatted to Josh, but Hilde picked up on it and volunteered to put him to bed. When she returned she found Relena wrapped up in a fleecy dressing gown and hacking savagely at an apple, exhaustion forgotten in her newfound anger.

"How could he...? That stupid asshole! Didn't he think I'd been humiliated enough for one day?" She continued taking chunks out of the apple, mumbling choice insults at her now-not-so-potential boss. And since he wasn't going to be her boss, she didn't need to be careful about what she said. Hilde wrapped her arms around her friend from behind, astutely dispossessing Relena of the knife and finishing peeling what was left of the apple. There was silence as she handed it to Relena. Relena felt tears gathering in her eyes at her flatmate's sympathetic silence.

"What happened?"

And then it all came out in a huge flood – the interviewer, the fall, her ankle, the shoes, the walk home...upon examination her ankle was swollen, and still painful to move. After strapping ice and a support around it, Relena went in to kiss Josh goodnight, thinking gratefully, once again, that he looked nothing like his father. Finally admitting her exhaustion, Relena feel into a deep sleep, hoping she wouldn't dream.

Hello again, thanx for reading - please let me know what you think. Criticism or praise, both are good. The next few chapters are already written so I'll hopefully get them up soon Thanx again!

I got reviews! Thanx – but next time, Dagger, try to sign in on your account and not mine :s lol