Just when everything in the office felt tolerable, the tension suddenly upped by a palpable amount. The yelling, the petty bitch fights, the glares shot across the meeting room tables; it had all reached a fever pitch when Rick and Craig had to be physically hauled off of each other in the midst of fists flying and snarls of rage echoing after both of them were pulled apart. They were growling insults all the way until they were out of earshot and separated into different offices. It was one of those times. Everyone was pretty surprised when they found out that the two of them were keeping their relationship secret, but once it settled in, it made a lot more sense. It made things calmer, frankly. They weren't arguing so much and they were getting laid regularly, so Rick didn't pick fights and Craig wasn't a general crab ass.
That was, unless they were having some sort of tiff.
When the report came in, Gladdy slammed her hands on her desk, making the messenger, cute little Catherine, jump about a mile off the ground, "This has got to STOP," she roared, "They are breaking the OFFICE FURNITURE. My budget can't handle this."
"Just from those two?" Catherine spit out before she could stop herself.
"EVIDENTLY. Since they… whatever it is they did to each other this time my budget has been a mess!"
"Isn't that an easy fix…?"
Gladdy halted and shot her golden yellow eyes at the secretary in front of her, "What do you mean?" she snapped while the secretary cringed in fear.
Cat wrung her hands, put on the spot and nervous, "U-uhm, well, if they're nicer to each other and everyone else together, why not make them kiss and make up and stuff? It's almost Valentine's day, anyway!"
Gladdy's mouth set in a prim, straight line and she suddenly sat down at her large executive's chair with a thump, steepling her fingers in front of her with a thoughtful hum. She snatched up a pen from her desk and began to scribble something on a memo before passing it to the curly-haired secretary.
"Take these, follow them to the letter and do not let either of them know or they will refuse," she instructed sharply, peering over her reading glasses at Cat who vigorously nodded after perusing the list.
"Go, you have some phone calls to make. Put it all on my card," Gladdy waved her hands in a shooing motion.
The very next day there was a note and a little pink rose sitting on Craig's desk. He suspiciously snapped the note up and inspected the envelope, which was unmarked. With a furtive glance around his cubicle and the hallway outside, he opened the note up and brought the paper to his face, scanning the contents. It was a simple note, typed in a plain font as to keep the identity of the sender secret. Sure enough, there was no signature either. It simply read 'Meet me to dinner tonight, someone like you deserves to be treated right on such a day' with an address neatly printed below.
Craig lifted the pink rose and inspected it as well; nothing of note there either, aside from the silver ribbon that attached the note to the flower. A very small, reluctant smile appeared on the blond's lips; well, it looked as though he wasn't spending today alone after all. He pulled the ribbon off of the note and hid it in one of his desk drawers, keeping it a secret just in case this was some kind of cruel prank. The rose, however, was put into a small plastic cup of water until he could take it to a proper vase.
On the opposite side of the hall, a similar note was set on Rick's desk, sans flower, but with a spritz of some spicy smelling perfume. A full-on grin spilt his face and he tucked the note into his shirt pocket, trying to place the perfume. Didn't smell like on he was familiar with, not that he was really intimately familiar with all of the smells in the office. This one would stick out, though.
Cat suddenly appeared over the top of the cubicle wall, "Heeey, Riiiick?" she said with her best 'can you do something for me' smile.
"What kin I do for ya, sugar?" he said, head snapping up.
She presented him with what looked like a receipt which he took and glanced at briefly, "I miiiight've made a little mistake and put something on the company bill I shouldn't've… couldja help me out and make some copies of this for me so I can fix it?"
Rick raised an eyebrow, couldn't she do that herself? She smiled and batted her eyelashes, though, so he couldn't just refuse the lady.
"Sure thing, jus' gimme a sec," he said, pulling himself out of his chair.
"Thaaaank you, Rick," she said in a sing-song voice, flouncing off of the cubicle wall and immediately over to the other side of the office—toward the copy machine, which happened to be near Craig's desk.
Thankfully, Rick was a little too distracted by the alluring smell of the note. He got up and passed right by Cat inviting herself into Craig's cubicle to sit on his desk with an enthusiastic smile.
"Look, I got a gift for Valentine's day, isn't that neat?" she said conversationally, positioning herself between Craig and his keyboard so he couldn't ignore her.
"That's wonderful, Catherine," he deadpanned, wondering why in the world his friend thought he cared.
"They goofed up, though. They got me cologne instead of perfume! Funny, huh?" she chatted away, producing a small red bottle.
"Hilarious," he said in monotone, going for a stack of papers to go through instead.
Cat sprayed his hands with a giggle and he made an annoyed noise, going for a handkerchief to try to wipe away the scent, but it was too late. A spicy, seductive sort of sent wafted through his cubicle, much to his annoyance. Just as he leaned forward to chew her out, she sprayed him again, at the pink silk tie around his throat.
"Yep, smells really good on you!" she chirped, "I think I'll let you keep it."
Before he could protest, she left the bottle next to his keyboard and began to flounce away, just as she'd done to Rick, who caught her coming out of the cubicle as he passed.
"Hey, gotcher copies there," he said, just in range of Craig's hearing, who stiffened up and immediately huddled over his keyboard to seem busy.
"Oh thank you, I'll get this right in the files for you!" she said with a bright smile, acting as though the receipt had been his much to Rick's confusion, "Floral shop, huh? Got your eye on someone who must like roses, right?"
Just as he was about to ask what her deal was, a familiar smell caught his attention as he followed her down the hallway, forgetting to argue about the receipts, "Oh hell, Cat, y'know what that smell is?"
"What smell?" she said, feigning ignorance while she walked away from Craig's desk with Rick following close behind her, "Ohhhh that spicy kinda smell? Craig got some new cologne, don'tcha like it?"
Rick stopped with a confused look on his face that mirrored the same baffled look on Craig's while he sat back in his desk chair when Cat and Rick walked away. Cologne? Rick pulled the note out of his pocket and gave it another whiff; sure enough they were the same smell. Craig picked up the rose sitting on his desk and inspected it like it would give him answers. Rick had bought roses… or a single rose, perhaps.
Both of them went about their day, suspiciously peering over their shoulders as though more clues were bound to come to them. They stayed away from one another, half out of curiosity, half out of worry for what tonight would bring. It was possible it wasn't who they thought it was…
In the evening, Craig arrived early to a restaurant. It was very busy and very, very fancy, but despite the Valentine's day rush, the moment he mentioned his name, he was immediately escorted to a private, reserved table with candles dotting the tablecloth. A small bouquet of more pink roses sat off to the side, with a bottle of blush wine sitting in ice. A tuxedoed waiter approached and seated him, informing him that the meal and anything he and his company would need would be on the house. Craig blinked up at him and then the glass of sweet wine poured for him, absolutely dazed. He was given a menu and immediately went about attempting to discern what the looping French font meant.
"It was you b'hind all this," came a soft, but still familiar voice.
Craig peeked over the top of the menu, spotting Rick in a nicely pressed suit he hadn't seen in a while. He almost hunched up and hid behind the menu again before he registered what Rick had said.
"Me?" he asked, genuinely confused, "It wasn't you who sent me that… that note?"
Rick's eyebrows knitted together, "Naw. Y'were th'one sending th'note, Cat told me 'bout th—"
"Catherine also mentioned something about roses you'd bought," Craig interrupted, gesturing to the vase sitting on the table.
"She lied. Told me she bought flowers 'n needed receipt copies," Rick's eyes narrowed in a little bit of understanding, "Told me y'got a new cologne, too. S'nice by the way."
Craig thought so, too, which is why he was wearing the distinct scent right that moment, as well, "…She… set this up. No—she couldn't have, we have a reservation at one of the nicest restaurants in town on the house."
Rick ran a heavy hand through his hair and finally sat in the offered chair next to Craig, obviously thinking about what in the hell was going on. Craig's face was serious when he finally looked over at the blond.
"…You look nice," he finally said, nodding down to Rick's suit and green silk shirt, "I haven't seen that shirt before."
A lot—no, nearly all the tension washed away with a silly smile on Rick's face, "Y'don't look half bad yerself."
Silence fell over the table until the waiter came to pour a glass of wine from the bottle and excused himself. Rick picked it up and spun the stem between his fingers, a thoughtful expression replacing the grin from before.
"No point 'n wasting dinner with good-lookin' company, is there?" he said, raising the glass to Craig.
"…Indeed not," Craig agreed, lifting his glass to clink against Rick's.
It seemed their 'on the house' reservations were thorough enough to provide a taxi when they were both a little too sauced to drive. Of course, it must've been a mistake by the cabby that they ended up at the same place, both a little too involved with the other's mouth to notice which of their apartments they ended up bursting into backwards with Craig's legs wrapped around Rick's waist while their lips met again and again frantically. Between heated kisses there might've been an apology about why they had broken up in the first place, but that was quickly muffled by much more suggestive noises.
The next day, both surprisingly cheery despite a wine-induced hangover; Gladdy discreetly checked in with Cat whose eyes glittered when she reported success. In her office, there were a bouquet of yellow flowers and a small, fancy looking chocolate cake, decorated with the words 'thank you' in red and a note that said 'We know what you did, we owe you one. –R&C'
Gladdy allowed her mouth to curl into a knowing smile. Of course they did.