had been bugging him all day long. He couldn't concentrate on his
work. He stared at his computer, but his eyes blurred. All he could
see was that.
A thin red band.
But Duo *never* used a red band to hold his braid. He used blue, black, sometimes a deep purple or grey, but never *red*.
Where did it come from? Was he dating a girl? Did she have long hair, too? Duo didn't know any long-haired girls! That girl on L2... she had *short* hair, disturbingly like Heero's. Relena? Relena didn't use simply ties to hold her hair back... and also, she wouldn't be dating Duo. Sally? Sally might... she might go cradle-robbin', too. But she was more of a rice queen.
Red. Where would a red band come from?
All through lunch, he glared grumpily at Duo's braid (and the slight curve of ass that was right next to it...). It had always seemed like an unfortunate desk arrangement. Why all their desks had to piled on top of each other, practically, was beyond him. Heero had been gone all week on assignment. He and Duo were doing paperwork for the whole department, keeping things liquid for Heero and Wu Fei.
Around three o'clock, Quatre came in, and Trowa's heart sank. He just wasn't up for... wait, though, Quatre went straight to Duo's desk...
"Hey, I saw you had taken your things today. Is the fumigation of your building done?" Quatre asked, concerned.
"Oh, yeah, man, sorry, I would have said goodbye, but you were on conference call with... every world leader, it seemed," Duo joked. "Thanks for letting me crash, though."
"Please don't mention it," Quatre blushed. "Obviously, there was more than enough room for you. I just wish we could have spent more time together."
"It's ok, man, I know you're busy."
"Well, anyway, it was good to see you. Oh, I think you took one of my sister's bands," Quatre giggled. Duo just looked confused, so Quatre picked up Duo's braid, and pointed out the red band.
Quatre's sister's band. Because Duo's building was being fumigated. No other reason.
"Ah! Oh, crap, I didn't even notice! Oh man, do you want...?"
"No, no, no, forget it, I doubt she'd notice one band. Just looked a bit funny. Don't think I've ever seen you use a red one."
"It's a little girly, isnt' it?" Duo blushed.
Quatre assured him he looked fine, and then looked up at Trowa hopefully.
Trowa could be kind and polite, since Quatre had just put his mind *deeply* at ease.