9-9-2003

Title: #80 Results - Part 1
Arc: Life With Heero
Author: Calic0cat <calic0cat@fastmail.fm>
Story Completed: September 8, 2003
Genre: Shonen Ai/Yaoi, Friendship, Romance
Pairing: 1+2
Rated: PG
Warnings: AU, OOC, Swearing
Archives: At Lev's Lair http://www.gwaddiction.com/levlair/ and at http://calic0cat.freeservers.com/ (my site) and at Mediaminer.org under Calic0cat. Anyone with archive permission for my other fics can help themselves.
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. Duo 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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"Sign here please."

Duo obediently signed where the courier indicated and accepted the thick envelope in return. "Thanks, have a nice day," he said belatedly as the woman turned to leave the office.

"Thank you. You too, sir," she replied as she exited the building.

Holding the envelope rather gingerly, Duo read the sender's address again and wondered whether he was going to like its contents or not. 'Hell, I don't even know which answer I *want* this to be, how could I possibly guess whether that's what it is or not?' He ran his fingers thoughtfully over the flap, then shook his head decisively. 'No, not my place to open this. This deal's been Heero's baby from the start; he's got the right to be the first to know.'

Duo walked into Heero's office and laid the envelope in the Inbox. He ran his fingertips across the Tanaka Industries logo embossed on the shipping label one more time before heading back to his own office. It was going to be a *long* day waiting for Heero to get back from the auction he'd gone to. Not that Duo didn't have plenty of work to keep him busy while he waited. But he doubted that he was going to have much luck concentrating on it with that envelope sitting unopened on Heero's desk.

And in all honesty, he *did* know what he wanted the bid result to be. He wanted Take Two to have won the bid. Not because it would be good for the business. And sure as hell not because it was going to mean Heero would be doing a lot of travelling as part of the deal.

No, Duo wanted Take Two to have won the bid because proving himself meant so damn much to Heero and he really needed a boost to his confidence right now. Needed to feel like he'd done something right. That he wasn't failing at everything.

"Not that *I* think he's failing at *anything*," Duo muttered to himself, shaking his head as he pulled a pile of invoices towards him and started sorting them. "Of course, what *I* think doesn't really matter; *he's* the one who thinks he's failing..."

Oh, things had been better since they'd backed off on the physical aspect of their relationship over a week ago. Heero had been more relaxed and less pissed off at himself. They were still dating and making out on the couch; they just weren't trying to push things that next step.

And they were spending more time sparring and playing basketball and working on the old pickup truck that they were restoring. They were back to having fun and enjoying their time together, both as best friends and as a couple. But Duo knew that Heero was still worrying over how to get past his control training in order to advance their physical relationship. Knew that Heero was still worried that his problem - his "failure" - would end up destroying their still very new relationship as a couple.

Frankly, the fact that Heero could even think that bothered Duo more than the problem itself. He couldn't quite put his finger on *why* it did - but it did.

Duo's brow wrinkled as he gathered up the sorted invoices and rose to file them under the appropriate payment dates. He pulled out the file that needed payment at the end of the week and set it aside to tend to later. 'Why *does* Heero's worry bug me more than his actual problem does?'

Sinking back into his chair, Duo tilted it back and stared thoughtfully at the ceiling for a few minutes. Maybe... Maybe because it was like doubting *him*? Like mistrusting the depth of their relationship?

'Yeah, that's it...' Duo nodded slowly.

Heero worrying that this delay in the advancement of their physical relationship might ruin things between them was almost like Heero saying that he didn't trust Duo to be patient and supportive no matter how long it took to get through this. He didn't think that Heero had thought of it in those terms - hell, he was *sure* Heero hadn't consciously thought of it quite like that - but that's really what it boiled down to. Maybe if he *did* put it in those terms, Heero would finally realize just how unnecessary his concern was. Which would remove one more bit of pressure and hopefully make dealing with the control training just that little bit less difficult.

"Okay Maxwell, you've wasted enough time on personal stuff this morning; time to get some serious work accomplished," Duo muttered, tipping his chair forward and directing his attention back to his desk. He wanted to get his Inbox cleared before Heero got back; once that envelope was opened he seriously doubted that he would get *anything* else accomplished today. And he was *hoping* that they'd be going home early to change and go out for a celebratory dinner; he didn't want to be stuck staying late to clear his desk instead.