Word Count: 795
Warnings: The title for this one comes from an old comedy short.
Duo yawned, scratching his back against the stanchion behind him. He should have taken off over an hour ago. "The best laid plans of mice and men..." he grumbled. No one, least of all control, could have predicted that he'd be missing his co-pilot. Relena had called in, just minutes before shift to let them know that they'd had some bad seafood the night before, and that Heero was down with food poisoning.
Who would have thought it. The perfect soldier laid low by a lobster. He would have laughed if it wasn't effecting him as well.
Footsteps, made hollow by the metal deck, approached. Duo looked up, pushing himself back up to his feet and uncrossing his arms. The person that came around the corner was tall and blonde - Zechs. "Hey man!" Duo yelled, waving.
Zechs looked a little embarrassed, but at least smiled and waved back. "Good morning, Duo."
"What are you doing here, you dog!"
"I'm your temporary partner." Zechs laughed. "Noin broke her ankle playing tennis with Sally yesterday."
"Oh, is that what they're calling it these days?" he wiggled his eyebrows, provoking more laughter from Zechs. "Man, if she's breaking body parts, they're doing something wrong."
"I told her that, myself. Her response was pretty unladylike."
"Not surprised. Hey, let's get going. I've got the checks done." Duo said, still grinning. Inside, he winced at his own enthusiasm. He had to act out, though, or else he'd be nervous.
Patrol. He was going on patrol with Zechs. He of the long blonde hair and the ass you could crack walnuts with. The man who'd been flirting with him ever since he joined the Preventers, but had always been just his friend. Up in Heaven, he was sure God was laughing right now.
They kept the banter up through lift off, falling silent only when they had to do their vector calculation for their first checkpoint and get it set in the navigational system. Duo engaged the autopilot once the programming was done and sat back. "So what have you been up to? We haven't hung out for a couple of weeks."
"Not much. The regular - patrol, patrol, patrol."
"No, man, I mean in your real life."
Zechs shrugged. "Nothing much there, either. I've been doing some hiking, and I had the flu for a week or so. That's about it."
"Makes sense. I noticed there's some new movies coming out tomorrow. Want to go hit one, since you're feeling better now?"
"Sure." Zechs smiled. "Just not horror, okay? I hate to admit it, but those things give me nightmares."
"Oh yeah, and I've been wanting to ask, what do you think of Relena's new economics package? I'm thinking it's kind of short-sighted?she's not looking at the long haul for the security budget, in my opinion, but I figured you might know more about it than me." Duo had missed hanging out with Zechs; he was a better conversationalist than Heero, someone that could talk about anything. Politics, religion, movies, books, it didn't matter.
"Actually, the security budget was my idea, look at it this way..." Zechs said, explaining what his logic had been. Duo nodded to himself. The points made sense.
"But what about pensions? You're cutting them."
"It's not like I'm not going to suffer too." Zechs said.
"But you've also got laurels to rest on. So do I. Most of the other guys don't." Duo pointed out. They bickered for a while, back and forth, punctuating their points with their hands. Finally, Duo said, "Look, okay, let's just agree to disagree on this one."
Zechs laughed, nodding. "You know, Duo, that's what I like about you. You don't take disagreements personally."
The compliment was the straw that broke the camel's back. Duo unhooked his safety harness and stood, hands on his hips. He ignored the bewildered expression on Zechs' face. "Look, Zechs, are we going to date or are we just going to fuck?"
Zechs blinked. "I didn't realize those were the options."
"Now you know." Duo's frustration drained away as quickly as it had come, leaving him wishing that he could crawl into a hole and bury himself.
Zechs was thinking, though, his face serious. Finally, he looked up and said, "Yes."
"Why not both?"
Duo pinched himself. He wasn't dreaming. No further invitations were needed; he launched himself at Zechs. They latched on to each other, squirming like puppies and planting kisses on any bare skin that could be found. Both were flushed and gasping when Duo drew back for a moment.
"Ever done it in zero-G?"
Zechs laughed, "No."
A slow, rather evil grin crept on to Duo's face. "You're in for a treat, man. I'll show you all about it..."