Story: PROJECT PASSION
Author: FancyFigures ([email protected])
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about ‘em for free etc
Category: Romance, humour, fluff
Warnings: Yaoi, lime
Notes: If you have to work all hours, there really ought to be appropriate remuneration!
Feedback: If you liked it, PLEASE let me know!
For merith – partly inspired by her tough time at work recently, and partly inspired by my own recent experiences. Nothing but fluff, love, to cheer you up and welcome you back when they finally let you have some time for yourself!
I assure you that all the phrases I use were found in project specifications! *lol* Mad world, eh?
The two young men stood in front of Wufei Chang’s desk, the last in a trail of young contractors – he’d been briefing the staff on the new developments since 8.30 that morning.
“OK, Maxwell, Yuy –“ he began again, rather wearily by now. He’d missed lunch, and his wife had stopped ringing to find out when he’d be back for supper. His stomach felt like his throat had been cut, and the damned coffee machine had drained dry. “The deadline’s been brought forward – significantly. The client needs the system up by Thursday week.” He saw their raised eyebrows, and had the responses ready to hand. “There’s no argument – no extensions. They’ll pay for the time, the additional workstations, and any extra programmers, but we must meet that deadline, or suffer the penalty clauses. You got anything to say?”
Duo Maxwell looked like he did, but he bit it back, rolling his eyes a little. Heero Yuy stared ahead with his usual silent equanimity. Chang began to think there was a chance he could catch the last train home, and he started fumbling for his jacket.
“You’ll both be working at the client’s site, full-time, 24/7 if needs be, starting tomorrow at 07:30. Maxwell, you’ll continue on client liaison. For some unimaginable reason, they seem to like you. Yuy – you and your team complete the development of the sales interface. That’s the front office for the whole system – lose the credibility of the users, and we’re sunk. So don’t fuck it up!” He stood up to go, shrugging into the sleeves. “Any problems with that, guys?” It wasn’t so much a request as a challenge.
The two men that he was addressing looked at each other. The one on the left – Duo - was a tall, tanned young man with an insouciant air, a tee shirt that glared today’s slogan of ‘Bite My Byte!’, and long chestnut hair caught in a braid that brushed at his jean-clad ass. The one on the right – Heero - was dressed in a modest, but traditional suit; slightly shorter than his colleague, similar age, a self-possessed man with a shock of dark, thick, glossy hair and vibrant blue eyes. His face held a respectful, cautious expression – but then it always did.
Chang looked back at them, and sighed at the contrast. He barked at the guy with the braid, though he knew he had less than his full attention. “And Maxwell – get a tie! Haven’t I told you that before?”
Duo came stumbling up the corridor and bumped into Heero at the water cooler; they smiled apologies. Duo waved Heero ahead of him, and watched as he poured out his cupful. He pushed back his braid and glanced at his watch; he grimaced. It was 06:10, and they were the first to arrive in the building. “Damned near dawn, eh?”
“I like to get in earlier than the team,” said Heero.
The civilities dispensed with, Duo coughed, rather self-consciously. “Like Chang said – you got any problems with working here with me, 24/7, Heero?”
For a minute, Heero looked startled. “Of course not. We work well together, right?”
“Great!” said Duo, too heartily. “I mean…well, we do, don’t we? And I’m sorry about that nonsense last Friday night, at the team supper – too much to drink, y’know? I never meant to embarrass you…”
Heero gazed at him, as if he were trying to read another meaning into Duo’s words. “No, it’s fine…” he said slowly, obviously measuring his own words; perhaps finding them unsatisfactory. “Fine. I – I’m glad you felt you could speak your mind to me.”
Duo snorted, softly. “Not just my mind, man – I guess my pants spoke for me, that time!” He caught sight of a flicker of ambiguous emotion in Heero’s eyes, and groaned inside. “I know, I know, it was dreadful behaviour, and it won’t happen again. Just don’t – hold it against me, OK?”
Heero looked confused; Duo felt the flush of pure, unadulterated mortification. He grabbed at his own cup, gave a rueful smile, and hurried back to his desk.
Duo knew things were on a knife edge when the client’s Sales Director burst into tears in front of him. He was a guy – a guy with a hundred and twenty sales representatives out on the road, fifteen percent of whom were near technophobes, and five of whom were near psychotic. He had ten people working full-time to integrate open contracts on to the new system – and now he was being told the system wouldn’t report on monthly sales, nor show cash received on account…
Duo strode up the corridor to find Heero, muttering. “Wants the damned thing to make toast, y’know?” He knew that Heero would be on top of this, but the questions had to be asked. He’d been avoiding his colleague for a couple days now – but it couldn’t be put off any longer.
“I know the issues,” said Heero, even as Duo came through the door. Heero had a bank of eight developers, tapping happily away according to his instructions. He sat on whichever seat was free at the time – he nursed them like disobedient children. “Date problem – being reformatted now. Date picker to be mandatory. New screen for cash banking to include branch location identifier – update notice going out to all users by 3pm today. I’ll upload the changes to the test system overnight.”
He saw Duo staring at him, and he wasn’t sure what his expression was, well, expressing. He often had that problem with Duo. For someone who seemed so open in all that he said and did, he was astonishingly difficult to understand.
He had several problems with Duo Maxwell, actually.
He cleared his throat, which seemed to be rather tight. “I’d like to discuss something else with you, actually – I haven’t been able to find you the last day or so. Perhaps you’d have some time to meet somewhere more private -” He looked pointedly at the tapping developers. He stepped forward, took Duo’s arm, and drew him back out to the corridor.
“About last Friday…“ Duo’s arm felt very tense under his hand. “I haven’t had the chance to tell you what I thought about the whole –“
Chang chose that very moment to come striding through the corridors, waving the pre-implementation checklist and swearing colourfully. They both knew there was no way they were going to be able to carry on with any kind of a private conversation.
“Too busy to talk, Heero,” muttered Duo, and he sounded rather grateful for the fact. “Gotta go –“
yelled. “Need you on the fucking
keyboard, not jawing to Maxwell! Fucking
CEO is distracted from his golf, and the key performance indicator on net
revenue per deal is as elusive as
The users were in final pre-implementation training. The system was supporting update 1.12; the Sales Director was hugging a developer like she was his mother; the accountants were finally confirming the successful integration with the monthly reporting package; and Duo sat amongst piles of crumpled paper, proof-reading the User Manual.
He felt Heero’s presence even before he spoke. “Sorry, Heero, a bit busy at the moment, y’know? Comprehensive audit trails…platform for growth…flexible interrogation of system…”
He looked up ten seconds later, knowing the man was still there. He sighed. No point trying to beat Mr Geek at his own, jargon-fuelled game. No point at all.
Heero tilted his head slightly to the side, quizzically. “Are you embarrassed, Duo?”
“Huh? What about?” Even as Duo snapped back, he knew he’d made a mistake – he should never even have answered.
“About discussing the pass you made at me, last Friday,” replied Heero, with that cautious, respectful look that everyone knew so well. “When you sat next to me – actually, as I remember it, you physically manhandled Polly out of the way so that you got that place. Then you nuzzled my neck – you put your hand very deliberately on my thigh. Then you murmured into my ear some suggestions that involved the unusual use of certain foodstuffs, some tactile fabrics, and items that I thought one could only get access to in the military…”
“I did not!” yelped Duo. His face was scarlet. The sweat from his hand made a damp print on the paper beneath it. He’d have to rewrite Part 7.6 – Exception to Budget Reporting.
Heero coughed, very clearly.
“OK,” sighed Duo, “so I did. But it wasn’t mean to be just a lunge of lust, y’know…”
“I know,” came Heero’s calm voice, though Duo’s humiliation wasn’t listening.
“I was trying to say something – explain something – what I’ve been feeling about you – fuck…” he groaned. Was this what they meant by Stress Management? If so, he was failing parts 1, 2 and 3.
“You’re not usually so tongue-tied, Duo,” came Heero’s voice. Duo felt wretched; embarrassed at wanting someone who was so obviously out of his reach; doubly embarrassed at letting the guy know!
“No, I’m not,” he growled. “So I guess I am embarrassed! Happy now?”
Heero’s brow furrowed. “I think you misunderstand me –“
“So that makes two of us, eh?” snapped Duo. Was a time he’d thought Heero might be interested in him – there’d been that time at the Christmas party – then on the management weekend away…
Status meeting in five!” came the familiar roar of
their boss from up the corridor. “Yuy – screen shots!
Maxwell – tie!” The CEO had returned early from his golfing
“Gotta go,” said Duo. His voice sounded hoarse. “I’m –“
“I know,” said Heero, a little sadly. “You’re too busy.”
It was very late; the CEO had swept Chang and a couple of the company’s Directors off to supper, and Duo was left to clear up the acetates from his final pre-implementation presentation. The project was due to go live the next morning; after his lively and well-received speech, he could almost believe that it was going to be both smooth-running and successful.
When Heero appeared in the doorway of the Board Room, Duo couldn’t help the sigh that escaped him. “Hey man, it’s too late, y’know? We still have user rights to set up – cost centre hierarchy to check –“
Heero shut the door firmly behind him. “Always too busy, eh, Duo? But that’s what I want to discuss with you now. The final ticklist – the pre-flight checks. Ready for launch tomorrow at 10:00.”
“Isn’t it kinda late for a review meeting, Heero?” Duo eyed the sheaf of papers that Heero had in his hand. He was thorough, right, but didn’t this smack of anally retentive -?
Heero saw him looking, and smiled. He put his papers carefully down on the desk, then reached to the neck of his pristine white shirt, and began to loosen his red silk tie. Keeping his eyes on Duo, he slid it out from under the collar; then he flipped the top button open.
Duo saw the thread of sweat at his throat; his pants tightened uncomfortably.
Christ, thought Duo, I hope so. Somehow this didn’t feel like a typical meeting with the development team leader. Somehow this felt like something rather warm, and potentially rather exciting. This felt like something that might end in slurping noises and stickiness…
Every small part of his body hoped it damned well would!
Heero had moved very close to him, and pressed a single sheet into his hand. “Off you go then. You must check off the requirements according to the original tender.” Heero left his hand in Duo’s for a few seconds – his skin was cool, and his fingers firm on Duo’s palm.
Duo cleared his throat; Heero didn’t move away. Duo thought longingly of his bulky overhead projector, usually lodged well between him and his audience. This was all rather – intimate. He swallowed, hard. “Is - is the system robust?”
“Yes – very,” said Heero, in a low, sexy voice that no-one had ever heard at work. “Reliable; flexible; technologically advanced.” It wasn’t a shock when he pressed his hands against Duo’s shoulders; nor when he ran them slowly down his upper arms, testing the yield of his muscles. But it was so damned exciting that the paper shook in Duo’s hands.
“Functionally rich –“ gasped Duo.
“- yet intuitive, and user-friendly,” murmured Heero, sliding a hand up under Duo’s latest tee shirt. The ‘Recover My Disaster!’ logo rolled up in folds on his flat, tanned stomach. Heero’s fingers were both careful and quick-moving. Duo bit back a groan as one of his nipples was flipped, then gently pinched.
“Adequate processing and output controls –“ he struggled on. The paper looked a little creased in his sweaty hand by now.
“Edit controls,” Heero whispered into his neck, whilst sliding his palm down Duo’s chest. “Validation controls; confirmation of completeness of data. All in place.”
“Good,” whimpered Duo. His heart was racing, and it wasn’t anything to do with his appraisal skills. “Very good!”
Heero’s hand teased gently at the line of hairs by his navel.
“User interface –“
“Secure. On-line procedural help available,” muttered Heero. His lips were at Duo’s ear; his fingers at his waistband.
“Protection against unauthorized users –“
“Access only on presentation of the administration password,” sighed Heero, his fingers toying with the button of Duo’s jeans. Duo wondered what the strong, slender fingers would feel like, stroking his naked limbs; Duo wondered whether this was what a complete melt-down felt like.
More importantly, Duo wondered what the administration password was to this particular dream come true!
The paper list fluttered to the floor, falling from his unresisting fingers. His arms reached round Heero’s neck, and tugged him in close. Their mouths met, and there were certainly many of those satisfyingly slurping noises.
“Correct password,” hissed Heero, his tongue busy at the back of Duo’s mouth.
There was some shifting of bodies, and some moaning noises; also some loosening of clothes. Heero lifted his head from the Board Room table, where Duo had laid him down, trapped underneath him. He hadn’t complained. “You know I was always interested in you – just not sure how to approach you. After the team supper, I thought you’d want to take it further…”
“I did,” groaned Duo. There were things in Heero’s pants that were barely covered by the thin, cotton fabric. Things that were swelling very impressively, and causing a functional interface in Duo’s own jeans that was making his balls ache. “Just thought – didn’t know if you –“ Words failed him, as Heero’s tongue sought an unrestricted access again.
Heero released Duo’s mouth long enough to help peel his tee shirt up over his head, watching the braided man wriggle his torso to get free. He savoured the view before speaking again. “You know, you should have worn a tie today.”
He felt Duo’s laugh ripple against his chest, starting a painfully throbbing reaction in his over-eager groin region.
“Yeah! I thought Chang was going to have a coronary when he saw me this morning! But I don’t have one, y’see – never have had.”
Heero grinned up at the flushed face, inches away from his own, lips damp and plump from kisses. “You can borrow mine,” he laughed. He tossed one end of the slim red silk around the back of Duo’s neck, caught it against the other end still in his hand, and used the makeshift noose to tug his head down again.
“One last deliverable I need to check,” mumbled Duo. His mouth was well occupied, and his breath was panting with a mixture of desire and laughter. “Functional fit?”
He felt Heero’s answering grin on the skin of his torso. “You better believe it, Duo Maxwell!”