MUCH THE SAME

“You don’t think it’s boring?”

“What?

Duo sighed, theatrically. “The same thing, day after day. The same cereal for breakfast – the same journey to work – the same newspapers – the same hobbies at the weekend. It’s like always buying the same brand of soda. Like always watching the same TV programmes.”

Heero smiled gently, his eyes still on his work. “You don’t like the familiar?”

“Well,” Duo protested, then thought better of it. “Well, actually I do. But I thought you might be bored.”

Heero raised an eyebrow. “Me?”

Duo grimaced. His own screen suddenly seemed more interesting than before. “A whole year of it, Heero. I never thought…”

“What, Duo? You never thought we’d make it this far?”

“No, hey, I didn’t mean it quite like that. I just never thought you’d still be interested, you know –“ He paused, peering at Heero’s face. “You’re kidding me, right?”

Heero grinned. “Right. It’s been good. Even better than I thought. Time to get to know each other better – to develop the shared interests. To build the layers of experience and fun, and the personal jokes and intimacies. You need time for that, not just –“

“Lust?”

Heero bit back a laugh. “Yeah. Lust carries you a long way forward, but time keeps you there. Makes something more of it – something richer and more enduring.”

Duo was fidgeting in his seat, grinning widely, flushed with delight. “You’re pretty poetic this morning.”

Heero swung his seat round to face his colleague. “Call it my anniversary gift.”

“I love it, actually,” Duo said, the words tumbling out. “The same face at breakfast – the favourite recipes in the kitchen cookbook – the smell of your clothes drying in the fresh air. The same tired hugs at the end of the working day.”

Pretty lyrical, yourself,” murmured Heero. He looked a bit flushed now, too.

Duo swung back and forth in his own seat, his boot scuffing at the leg of the desk. “We should have booked the day off work. Made something of it all.”

Heero nodded. “Should have made it more special.”

Duo caught his eye. He looked quite serious now. “It is special, Heero. Doesn’t need any celebration. It’s been the best year of my life.”

Heero reached out and took his hand. “Me too. But we can still celebrate in our own way.”

Duo glanced round quickly, cheeks pink. “Hey, no smooching, not here, anyway…”

“Where, then? When?” Heero liked the way Duo could still be embarrassed at work.

“Tonight,” said Duo, hurriedly, and he grinned again. “Same place, same time, same channel…”

“Bed… as soon as we can make it… Channel Satisfaction #101,” whispered Heero.

“Hell…” groaned Duo. He shifted in his seat, hands in his lap busily adjusting clothing that suddenly seemed more restrictive.

“You still do that to me the same!”