Uh. Flowers again.
I looked up from my work . . . well, okay, I looked up from the doodles of me zapping Wufei with a tazer gun, and rolled my eyes as a delivery boy weaved his way in and out of the cubicles, checking each name plate on the desks as he went along.
I gave a loud, dramatic sigh, and got to my feet. "Yo, you're lookin' for me," I declared, putting the poor boy out of his misery. He looked grateful and I was happy—there went my daily good deed. Yes.
Obnoxious hooting came from all corners of the office, and several people stood and peeked over the walls of their own box-from-hell, admiring the giant bouquet of flowers that were headed my way.
I went forward to help the kid, who was drowning under what looked like twenty-four fresh, deep red roses bunched together in a crystal vase. Hmm, what was this? Four times in the past week?
"You Duo Maxwell?" the delivery boy asked as he dropped the flowers rather roughly on my desk. He looked glad to be rid of the damn things. I would be too. The smell of roses made me nauseous.
"In the flesh. Lemme guess—no card, and you don't know who sent them," I supplied for him.
The kid looked curious, then grinned. "Get these often?"
I just smiled and handed the guy twenty credits. He snatched them up, nodded, and left.
"Who's the secret admirer, Maxwell?" some guy two cubicles to my right asked loudly, grinning slyly. His buddies who'd congregated around his desk laughed and elbowed him, as if he'd said something witty. Right.
I gave him a sweet look and placed my ass on my desk, then took one of the roes out of the vase. Well, at least my admirer was a decent guy. He'd gone through the trouble of asking the flower people to remove the thorns. How sweet.
I grabbed a pair of scissors and snipped the flower's stem, and then stuck the flower in my hair. So he wanted to be bad, huh? I gave the smartass one of my sexist looks, at which he paled and looked confused. I sauntered over to his desk, shoving his macho, manly pals out of the way and draped myself across his desk. "Well, you know, since he's a secret admirer and all . . ." I murmured in a voice that I knew could turn on a dead man, "I really can't tell you who he is."
The dude looked flustered, and his friends were watching anxiously to see what his next move was. He gave me a glare. Wasn't much, I'd survived billions of the patented Heero Death Glare after all. I held his gaze, challenging him. Show me how big your balls are, asshole, and I'll hand them to you in a hand basket.
One of his friends elbowed him roughly, urging him to reply, which nearly sent him falling on top of me. I batted my lashes and said, "If you wanted me, all you had to do was say so and . . ."
He turned beet red. "Get the fuck off my desk, you dumb fag!"
Okay, NO he didn't. He did not just call me a dumb fag. Hey, I may enjoy the company of a handsome man, but I sure as hell wasn't dumb. But before I could rip off his balls and throw them in his face—fuck the basket—Heero appeared out of no where and yanked me away.
"That'll go on your report, Peters," he said coldly before dragging me back to my desk. He glared at the flowers, and I was surprised that they didn't wilt and die. "Will you move those things? They're making me sick."
Ah, yes. Heero wasn't that fond of roses either. I knew that. "But Heero, I like them here. Aren't they pretty?"
"You hate roses. Move them." He stomped off to his own cubicle.
Bastard. I hated that he knew me so well. I hated that he knew me so intimately, that he knew what I liked on my pizza, what my favorite soda was, and what my favorite pair of boxers were, even though we weren't together.
But most of all, I hated that we weren't together.
ANYWAY! Whoo, can't think about that! Or that picture of 'Fei being turned into human bacon might become reality . . . You're a GOOD friend, Duo, a GOOD friend . . .
Maybe if I told myself that enough times, it would be true.
"I'm so jealous."
I snapped out of my thoughts and looked up. There was Quatre, staring wide eyed at the roses. Now he loved the red plants from hell, and since he was my best friend and all . . . well. "Go on, take the damn things. I don't want them."
"Really?" Quatre asked. "I can just have them?"
"Sure! Use 'em to make Trowa jealous."
Quatre grinned diabolically, his eyes lighting up mischievously. Oh, boy. He's up to something. Quatre's not all sugary-puppies-kittens, you know. He's got this weird streak that comes out when he's drunk, horny or bored. I looked him over. He sure as hell wasn't drunk, but I couldn't tell if he was horny or bored . . . Trowa had been away on assignment for two days, so I guess it was the later.
"Ohh, I can pretend like I think they're from him, and he'll probably pretend like he did send them! And then I can catch him in a lie . . . he'll do whatever I say out of guilt."
Genius, pure genius. The oldest trick in the book, of course, but Trowa was so out of it (socially, I mean) that he'd probably fall for it. We giggled, and didn't notice when the subject of our prank walk up and take the flowers off of the desk.
"What's so funny?" he demanded, the one eye that was visible shinning with curiosity.
We jumped. Damn! Plan foiled. Well, by the way the week was going, I'd have another gift coming tomorrow. We'll get him, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday . . .
Quatre immediate turned back to his sweet self, obviously happy that his boy toy had returned. "Trowa! Oh, are those flowers for me?"
"Of course they are, who else would they be for?"
Quatre gushed, taking the horrid roses happily, batting his lashes. Ohhhhkay. Now I know that he's horny. "Let's go put these on my desk, and, ahhh . . . let's go somewhere private, I've got something to show you."
I stifled a laugh. I bet Quatre had something to show him alrght, something in his pants . . . I watched them walk away, then run away after they'd dropped of the flowers. Aww, those two were so damned cute. A match made in heaven.
I sighed and dropped down into my seat, deciding that Wufei needed not be zapped, but blasted with a ray gun. Fuck, I was jealous of them . . . not that I would admit that to their faces, okay? Jeeze, that would be just awkward. They had the perfect relationship, and I could imagine them being together until their hair turned gray.
As for me? Hell, I hadn't had anyone in that way. Ever. Not even Heero, the guy who I thought would be the answer to my loneliness problem, but alas . . . it was not meant to be.
Hmm . . . being blasted was kind of weak . . . ohh, how about projected into space!
The smell of roses lingered, distracting me as I completed my drawing. It was nice having a secret admirer, although I wished that the guy had enough balls to step forward. If he was cute enough we could date, then I'd let him score, and then I'd send him on his way.
Hey! I know what you're thinking but what can I say? I'm eighteen, jeeze.
Uh oh. Here comes Une and Wufei.
I hid my drawing in my desk and pretended to be thinking. Don't stop at my desk, don't stop at my desk, keep goin' . . .
Aw, man. They stopped. I gave them a grin, and Wufei immediately looked suspicious.
"Duo, we need to talk," Une said, staring at the roses that sat on Q's desk with a frown. "Are those yours?"
"Nope, not anymore. Gave them to Q, or Trowa did."
"But they were delivered to you?"
Une sighed and rubbed her face. "Duo, I can't continue to allow you to receive these gifts during work hours. You're distracting the rest of the people who are trying to do their work."
Work? Who the fuck worked around here? I looked around incredulously. Yep, everyone was either surfing the net, playing computer games, talking on the phone or gossiping around the coffee machine. Work? Ha! No one worked . . . unless their name was Heero or Wufei, that is.
"Sorry, Une. Look, I'd tell the dude to stop, but I don't know who he is. Honest."
She searched my face, then nodded as if she'd found what she was looking for. "Fine. The next time something comes, don't make a scene and just put the damn thing away." She walked off, taking a moment to stare at the roses before moving on.
To my surprise, Wufei hadn't left with her. He still stood by my desk, looking at me. What did he want?
"Duo . . . I think we need to talk," he said quietly, glancing around.
"Oh? About what?"
"You know what this is about."
Okay, so I did. That didn't mean I had to let him off that easily.
"We don't need to talk. I'm dealing just fine."
"Are you?" he demanded harshly. He stooped down so that we were at eye level and scrutinized me. "Are you really dealing with this the way you should?"
What made him think he could talk to me that way? Jerk. I gave him a smile and reached into my desk, drawing out several of my sketches, all of him meeting a comical end. I spread them out so that he could see each one very clearly, my eyes never leaving his. "I have my own way of handling things, I assure you."
He looked at the drawings, his face turning red. He frowned at me and I just smiled. "They're just drawings, Fei. No need to explode."
Wufei sighed and looked away. "Okay, I deserve that. But none of it was intentional, I promise you. I did not set out to—"
"Maybe not, but it still happened."
He didn't say anything. He looked a little sad and pitiful, and I felt something tugging at my heart. Fine! Ohhh, fine! Damn my stupid fucking heart! Seriously, I shouldn't care how he's feeling, not after what he did to me.
"Look, Fei, its over. That was so last year!" I kidded, although I didn't feel it in my heart. "I believe you. He's made up his mind, and that's that. I have to live with it."
"Okay. If . . . I mean, is everything . . . can we still be friends?" Wufei asked, his pitiful look multiplying tenfold. Not intentionally, I'm sure, but still.
"It'll take some time, but sure."
That seemed to satisfy him. He gave me a parting nod before walking away.
I stared at the wall of my cubicle. What. The. Fuck. I'd made a promise to myself that I would never forgive the bastard for as long as I lived, but what the fuck had I just agreed to? To be his friend again?
Ohh, no. Don't start, not here!
I could feel the tears gathering behind my eyes. All of the painful memories were returning, and I'd fought so hard to repress them . . .
I dashed to the bathroom and ducked into a stall, letting the tears flow. Damn, I'm such a fucking weakling. Like I'd said, it's been a year. I should be over the shit by now. But apparently I wasn't, judging by my soaking wet cheeks and the snot running down my face.
" . . . Duo? Is that you?"
Jesus! A man couldn't snivel in private?
It was Quatre, and I realized that he and Trowa must've ducked into the bathroom for a quickie. The pervs, this was a public place! Hmm . . . kinda kinky but STILL!
"Y-yeah," I called back, my voice squeaking. Damn. "I . . . I just need some time alone!"
"Okay. Come find me where you're done. We'll talk." There was the sound of zippers being done up, and then they were gone.
Someone bless the blonde. He hadn't asked questions, just given me my space. Now I know why we're best friends.
For about five minutes I felt sorry for myself, then told the world to screw itself and stopped crying like a wuss. I emerged from the stall, washed my face and checked to make sure there was no snot on my chin before stalking out of the bathroom with an air of (fake) confidence.
A fake confidence that was shot to hell, though, when I saw Heero and Wufei standing just outside of a cubicle in an intimate embrace. Then they kissed, and my heart began to hurt all over again.
But it was nothing I couldn't handle.
After all, the hurt I was feeling now paled in comparison to the hurt I'd felt when, one year ago, I'd found my boyfriend, Heero Yuy in bed with Chang Wufei.