Disclaimer:I don't own them and I don't make any money off of this,
Warning: Male/male sex, graphic, violence, language
1x2, 3x4, 5x Sally
Duo ripped a sheet of paper down from the main bulletin board at the hub of Preventer Headquarters. In very concise, feminine script, it read;.
'Duo Maxwell's virginity for sale, please call the number below. Gay men need only reply.'
"You bitch!" Duo snarled as he fisted the paper and turned to the crowded room. Every eye was on him as he turned red to the roots of his long hair. Some snickered, some looked disgusted, and some looked as if they had just seen a challenge or a wet dream.
"What are you looking at, Daniels?!' Duo snarled as he stormed past a leering agent. "You're not even gay!"
The man lifted an eyebrow and grinned. "I've never had a virgin before. I could make an exception."
"I can be your worst nightmare, asshole, so do your life a favor and don't say that again!" Duo threw back over his shoulder as he went into his office and slammed the door.
Throwing himself into a chair behind a wide, mahogany desk, Duo put his face in his hands. Why had he trusted her? He had liked and admired her. Rachel Dumous was one hell of an agent. He had liked partnering with her on tough missions. When she had made obvious advances, he hadn't wanted to lose her friendship or embarrass her. He had let her down as gently as possible during after an intimate dinner. She had seemed regretful, but okay with it. They had talked late, had a few beers, and somewhere during the evening, he had... mentioned that he was still a virgin.... and gay. She had laughed, but in a nice way, and he had felt close to her.
The vid phone beeped. Duo slowly reached out and turned it on without taking his face from his hands. "Maxwell," he breathed.
"Maxwell," Milliardo Peacecraft said.
"Sir?" Duo responded.
His commanding officer sounded uncomfortable as he said, "This email that you sent... while I respect your talents and your abilities, I'm afraid... that I do not think of you as anything other than an excellent agent-"
Duo looked up, horrified. "Email? I didn't send an email to you."
Milliardo looked embarrassed. "Forgive me... it must be some sort of office humor..."
"What does it say?" Duo didn't really want to know.
Milliardo grimaced. "I will send it to you."
The screen reduced and the email popped up, so did a small image of Chang Wu Fei.
"Maxwell!" Wu Fei snarled."What is the meaning of this email? You know that I do not appreciate your pranks!"
"At least someone gets that it is someone's sick joke," Duo muttered as he read the email and ignored Wu Fei's ranting.
'I've decided that I'm not a heterosexual. After a long time of struggling with my attraction to men, I've decided to give in to my desires. Please email me back. Duo Maxwell.'
"Rachel Dumous sent this!" Duo shouted at Milliardo, furious. "I want something done about it!"
Milliardo made a motion of helplessness. "I don't see an email signature. Who ever sent this covered their tracks. You may know for certain that it was Dumous, but without proof, I can't bring charges. I'll send an email to everyone to ignore this, but I can only post a general warning, I'm afraid."
"Maxwell!" A familiar image popped up beside Wu Fei's still ranting one.
"Hastings?" Duo exclaimed in shock. "Aren't you in Romania? Something wrong, buddy?"
"Duo," the man chided gently and then grinned. "All you had to do was give me the sign when I was in town and we could have been doing the horizontal on the nearest flat surface."
"What the fuck?" Duo shouted. "Did you get an email too?"
Hastings looked confused. "Yeah." He looked disappointed. "Was this for someone else?"
"It wasn't for anyone!" Duo exclaimed. "I didn't send it!"
"Duo?" The tentative voice of Howard made Duo groan, turn away from the images popping up on his screen, and close his eyes with his hands fisted in his hair. "I like you a lot, shrimp," Howard continued uncertainly, "but... not like that!"
"I didn't send it! It was someone's stupid joke!" Duo shouted and then he was whipping around and turning off his computer. In the sudden, deafening silence, he heard a sound from the doorway of his office. Duo looked up and saw Heero Yuy standing there with a paper in his hands.
Heero's expression was tight. His hand on the paper was almost a fist, creasing the paper severely. His next words made it obvious that he had over heard everything. "This is a joke, then, someone paying you back for one of your practical jokes?"
"Actually, some sick assed woman getting her revenge for a bad date," Duo growled back. He tried to gauge Heero's mood, wondering if the man had come down to his office to beat the crap out of him. There was a small bit of anger in Heero's expression, but there was also disappointment and embarrassment, Duo thought, and wondered why.
"Sorry about that, Heero," Duo told him, not letting down his guard in case he was wrong about Heero's temper. "You have to know I'd never dare-"
"Is it true, though?" Heero asked abruptly, as if Duo hadn't spoken at all.
"Which part?" Duo wondered.
Heero's hand squeezed the paper tighter and Duo decided that now was not the time to lie.
"Yeah," Duo replied as he slumped in his chair. "I'm gay, I'm a virgin, and now I'm a freakin big joke. Think the rest of the day will be any better?"
Heero didn't reply. He frowned, turned away, and left.
Duo stared after him, completely confused, and then sighed. "Guess not."
"No, I didn't send it!" Duo snarled as the twentieth person appeared
at his office doorway.
"Good," Sally Po sighed, "Because I'm sure you know that I only have eyes for Chang Wu Fei."
Duo looked up and found a grin. "I've told you to get a psych exam too, several times. The first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem, Sally."
She laughed as she entered the office all the way and plopped down into a chair. She swivelled, looked around at the eclectic decor that was reminiscent of a junk shop , and then gave Duo an amused eye. "Made this place your own pretty quick."
Duo blushed. "I... I was finding it hard to believe that I belonged here. I thought I'd make it more like my apartment. Now, I can just pretend I'm a squatter."
Sally raised eyebrows. "Who the hell else would belong in your chair, Maxwell? First in Preventers, five awards, sixteen commendations, two medals from the government... If there's someone better than you, let me know right now and I'll help you box your things to make way for him."
Duo shoveled papers into a stack, looking down to hide his embarrassment."I think Heero's better, Wu Fei too."
Sally rolled her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. "Wu Fei's temper is legendary. Heero follows orders. You have something they both lack. You are inspired, flexible, and you don't lose your focus or your cool. You make an excellent team leader; a phenomenal commander. The only person who questions that is you."
Duo sighed. "I had the best training, but I'm commanding people who've been in the military their entire lives. If it were me, I'd hate a kid who blew in from the streets of L2 to tell me what to do."
"You're twenty years old," Sally scoffed. "You fought and helped win a war. You've paid your dues. You've proved yourself."
"Maybe," Duo replied skeptically and then glared at the stack of faxes in front of him. "I think my credibility has taken a big blow, though."
Sally fished one of the faxes off the stack and then frowned as she read;
I'm going to kick your ass when I see you next, Maxwell! I'm leading a dangerous operation. I do not need to be distracted by your love letters. -Captain Demetrius Brunner.
"Brunner?" Sally exclaimed. "Isn't he in the Congo?"
"My 'love letter' was sent to everyone on my contact list," Duo told her dejectedly."It was hacked into last night."
Sally was suddenly alarmed. "Not your protected contact list?"
Duo scowled. "No, of course not. Nobody could hack into that. Our secret agents are safe. I wasn't careful enough with general contacts, though."
"Must feel like you suddenly had your pants yanked down in a big crowd, huh?" Sally sympathized.
Duo rubbed a hand across his face. "Yeah, something like that... worse, though.... I was getting credibility, especially after that big operation in Argentina."
"Wanted to lose that, 'Commander Diaper', nickname, huh?" Sally wondered.
Duo leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling. "Guess I get another one. Wonder what it'll be?"
Sally decided not to speculate. Another fax spit out and Duo fished it out of its tray. He read it and then added it to the stack with a wince.
"Bad?" Sally asked.
"Phelam,"Duo replied simply.
"General Phelam?" Sally winced. "So, want to tell me exactly what happened?"
"I trusted someone and they screwed me over," Duo replied bitterly. "Maybe I should have just screwed her instead and kept her happy."
"Her?" Both Sally's eyebrows went up. "I'm thinking someone hit on you and you didn't go along with it?"
"I liked her, Sally!" Duo exclaimed as he grabbed a wastebasket and used an arm to shove the stack of faxes off of his desk and into it. "I respected her. I turned her down as carefully and as gently as I could."
"How?" Sally wondered.
"Took her to dinner. Went back to my place. Had a few beers-"
"Men!" Sally exclaimed in exasperation.
Duo started. "What?"
"Don't you have a clue, Maxwell?" Sally replied. "You took a woman, who's interested in you, to dinner. You asked her back to your place. You gave her alcohol. All you left out were candles and rose petals! She thought you were romancing her. Of course she was pissed when you kicked her in the gut with your rejection!"
Duo's mouth was hanging open. He thought about it and then swore. "I really didn't-"
"Think, I know!" Sally snorted. "You should have casually told her, in a private, work related, place, namely your office or hers, that you were flattered, but no thanks. I'm surprised she didn't pull out her Smith and Wesson and unload on you stupid, thick headed-"
"She might as well have," Duo grunted and sank into his chair. "Still, what she did was way over the top. If I could prove she did it, I'd have her up on charges."
"Agreed," Sally told him. "She shouldn't be a Preventer if she can break the law, and our regulations, because of a romantic altercation."
"Altercation," Duo repeated sourly. "Sounds like a traffic accident."
"Do I get a name?" Sally prompted. "A little investigating..."
Duo almost said it, but then gritted his teeth. He finally said, "I think she did it. I don't know. Milliardo was right, without proof, there isn't a case and... it could be just coincidence."
Sally looked astonished and then she smiled as she stood up. "See why you're sitting in that chair? You keep your cool."
Duo grunted as Sally walked towards the door. "Did you have a reason, other than to reject my love letter, for coming here?"
She laughed. "I was on the same page as Chang. I thought it was a Maxwell joke. I did have a reason for coming here, though. Commander Une wants us in the operation's boiler room in one hour." She looked down at her watch. "Make that forty five minutes."
"Serious?" Duo wondered, sitting up and forgetting all about his personal troubles in an instant.
"Could be," Sally replied. "Any time she calls chief of medical in, you know she's believes there might be casualties." She waggled her id badge at him with her title. "So, grin and bear it, and let it blow over. We both know what's important here and , I think, Une's about to put us to work."
Duo grabbed his uniform jacket and slung it on as he joined her. The fax machine spit out two more faxes, exclamation marks peppering the printed sentences . "I'm coming with you," he told her. "The hell with dealing with any more of those."
On to Chapter Two