2-8-2003

Title: #36 - You Can Never Have Too Many Friends
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Domestic, Friendship
Pairing: Implied Hilde x OC
Rated: PG
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: Also at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat.
Disclaimer: Duo and Heero and the rest of the GW gang aren't mine. This story is. Nuff said.

Notes: The arc begins between one and two years after Endless Waltz. Hilde POV in this story.

'Thinking'
"Speaking"
************ Time passing or scene change

Author's Notes: See earlier fics for notes on the arc as a whole. Feedback is appreciated.

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Hilde rolled her eyes in disgust at the discrepancies Duo was finding between the job they'd originally quoted on and the job they'd ended up *doing*. How anyone could own an entire resource satellite and have no idea what was actually *on* the damn thing was beyond her. They were just starting week three of what was supposed to be a one week job and the end was nowhere in sight.

Jotting down a few more points to - discuss - with the company that had hired them for the job, Hilde sighed. It was shaping up to be another very long week. She had been coming in early every morning and leaving late every evening. And Heero had been here before her most of the time and didn't leave until she chased him out at the end of the day.

At least she didn't have to worry about missing any dates with Rick due to the long hours. He was off-colony on a job for the Sweepers at the moment. Though if he'd been here, they wouldn't have really "missed" anything. He would have just brought her dinner and helped out wherever he could instead of going out. Hilde frowned slightly as she tapped her pen against her desk. She missed that. She missed *Rick*.

When it came right down to it, she was actually *glad* she was working extra hours while he was away. Just hanging around the house by herself every evening would get pretty lonely in a hurry. Hilde stopped her pen in mid-tap. Wait a minute. *Heero* had been putting in even more hours than she had. With Duo away and the friends that had been staying with him gone, could it be that *he* was lonely? She wasn't too sure Heero had any other real friends here on L2. Acquaintances, sure, but friends? She didn't think so.

Hilde looked from her watch to the pile on her desk. There really wasn't anything there that required her staying late to take care of it. And she was pretty sure Heero didn't have anything too important on *his* desk either. 'What the hell. The worst he can do is refuse.'

Picking up her purse, she headed off to Heero's office. Poking her head in, she caught him sitting and staring at the photo of him and Duo playing basketball that was sitting on his desk. Rick had taken it one day when he had dropped by to pick her up for lunch and the two of them had been shooting hoops in the front parking lot. Duo had hung the hoop out there shortly after buying into the yard and the net was long gone, but the hoop remained. 'I'm right. He's lonely and he misses Duo,' Hilde thought. 'I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure that out.' Of course, it had taken her far too long to admit that Duo was right in the first place. That Heero really was a pretty nice guy.

Hilde cleared her throat to get Heero's attention, then said, "Come on. There's nothing here that can't wait till tomorrow. Let's go or we won't have time to eat before the movie."

The bewildered expression on Heero's face nearly made her laugh. "Movie? What movie?" he asked.

"The movie I'm taking you out to. We've both been stuck either in this stuffy office or our lonely houses for *far* too long." Hilde caught Heero's wrist and tugged him out of his chair before tucking her arm through his and firmly urging him out of his office as well. "So, what are you in the mood for? Chinese? Italian? Mexican? Something else?"

"I... Mexican, I guess. I haven't had that in quite a while."

Hilde grinned in delight. Good. Heero was going to cooperate. Doing a few things together would at least help keep the loneliness at bay for a while for both of them. And maybe - just maybe - they'd learn to do more than just "get along" while they were at it. After all, you could never have too many friends.

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- tbc -