- The Fourth Encounter -
I never did call Quatre or Trowa on Sunday. I should
have since I was roiling in my own juices – Heero
really had made me angry. The nerve of that guy to
make fun of me only to give me his number and then
tell me that we had.. potential? What the hell?
My ire traveled with me to work where I apparently
proceeded to snap like a baby crocodile at everyone.
My secretary started hiding from me on Tuesday and all
the paralegals mysteriously disappeared when I entered
the sector. My associates tread around me softly as
if I would snap at one of them and take their heads
off. Even the senior partners at the firm with
reputations for being indomitable scurried off to
their offices upon setting sights on me.
Throughout it all, I grumbled and snarled, unable to
believe the gall of Heero. When Quatre called me at
my office to see if I was free for lunch, I yelled at
him only to apologize a second later when I had
realized what I had done. He asked me what was wrong,
of course, but I found that I could not verbalize just
what was running through my head.
When Thursday rolled around, I was still scaring the
wits out of everyone within fifty mile radius of me.
In my current mood, had I asked a particularly
intractable client for his crimes, I am quite sure he
or she would have babbled out every bad thing they had
done in their entire life time just to avoid me.
Judges were afraid of me. I was turning into a
veritable ogre and I did not mind. I was fine with
being angry at Heero.
Unfortunately, Thursday was my big day in court. Let
me explain somewhat. It was the first day of trial
for my big client, a rich boy who had been indicted
for murder in the second degree for killing his
fraternity brother. I had to perform well or I could
very well end up getting him twenty years in a
non-friendly state prison whose populace liked young,
So Thursday, big day, still snarling. Perhaps that
would work for a bench trial, but I had to face a jury
today. They had to see that I was amicable, that I
was completely friendly so that they would look at my
client in a beatific light that he did not deserve. I
spent an hour before trial doing breathing exercises,
pushing Heero out of my system.
I was all prepared to go into trial when the worst
“Duo. I didn’t expect to see you here.”
Oh. Fuck. Not him.
I turned and my nightmare came to life before my eyes.
I was standing with my hand on the courtroom door – I
had nearly escaped. Then he had to somehow turn up.
“What are you doing here?”
He sounded so.. happy to see me. Could he not see
that I was getting nauseous just standing there? I
was probably getting green around the edges. Not to
mention, all the breathing exercises I had done for
the past hour were becoming absolutely useless.
“I’m doing my job.”
It was a snarl. I can see why my secretary squeaked
and ran from me the other day since it was the same
tone I had used when I told her that she had made a
typo on page forty nine of the brief.
“So you’re an..”
Heero stared at me, letting his eyes rake over my
impeccably expensive suit, perfectly tied tie and
shiny shoes. He apparently did not notice my temper
rising. Or more likely, he noticed with his keen
observation skills but decided to ignore it.
He finished. Yes, I am an attorney, so what of it?
And for that matter, what the hell was Heero doing in
a court house?
“Oh, if you’re wondering, I’m Heero Yuy.”
I knew that already. He’s really patronizing me this
time. Wait.. Yuy.. Yuy.. I knew that name..
Oh crap. Can my day get any worse?
“Yuy,” I say in a sickly tone, “as in Dr. Yuy.. my
“Oh. I suppose you’re Mr. Maxwell, the attorney who
It would be undignified to throw up right now. I had
to be in front of a judge and jury in.. right now.
“I did not hire you, my firm did,” was the best I
could do as a reply before I whipped open the door and
stalked into the courtroom.
The first day of my big trial was a damn blur thanks
to the distraction I encountered in the form of Heero
Yuy. I made my opening statement after the prosecutor
maligned my client with very negative words and then
crossed the prosecution’s witnesses brilliantly. I
made objections when called for, made notes about the
case and in general, just did a great job.
Not that I remember a damn moment of it.
When noon came around and the judge called for a lunch
recess, I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my
stomach. Noon was when I was supposed to talk to Dr.
Yuy to prep him for the witness stand. I had my
secretary make an appointment with his secretary weeks
ago.. just that who the hell would have thought that
Dr. Yuy would be Heero?
As soon as I entered the conference room set aside for
such encounters, I found Heero sitting there, waiting
for me. By this time, my sinking stomach had just
packed up and had run away to Tahiti.
“Duo.. I never did imagine that you’d be an
Damn that smile.
“Oh, why?” I reply in a surly tone, “because I have
“It is unusual for a man in your profession to have
long hair.. but that’s not what I meant.”
His tone was much too friendly and conciliatory for my
tastes. This was business, not a damned social call.
“Anyway, Dr. Yuy,” I say, emphasizing the Doctor part,
“I’m sorry we haven’t met to discuss my client before,
but we never seemed to have a meshing schedule. I
must prep you in about two hours and then go back to
trial. It is possible that you may not testify today
since the prosecution is taking a long time with their
I am quite proud that I said all that in a completely
professional tone. I avoided eye contact throughout,
making quite a production out of opening my briefcase
and taking out the relevant documents, shuffling them
needlessly over and over again.
“I understand the procedure, Duo. It is not my first
time as an expert witness.”
I did not snarl at him this time. I had my
professional mask on and I’d be damned if I broke it
in front of Heero.
“Then this should go quickly,” I said, secretly
thankful that I would not need to sit with him for two
hours, “so let’s begin.”
We discussed my client’s mental health which Heero
deduced to be somewhat unstable. We talked of how to
phrase questions so that his answers would be most
favorable to my client. We speculated on the types of
questions the prosecution would ask him and formulated
answers to go along with them. All in all, we talked
about the client and our strategy in a very
Throughout our interview, I came to a couple of
interesting conclusions. First thing, Heero is a
damned smart guy, almost as brilliant as I am. He is
well spoken, fluid without being wordy, succinct
without being aloof. He would make an excellent
expert witness and I had every hope of acquitting my
stupid killer client with his help.
Well, that and the fact the evidence was fairly weak.
At the end of our discussion, I realized that I had
not had lunch and I was back in court in ten minutes.
Suffice to say, my ire towards Heero had cooled
significantly during our two hours because he had been
so utterly professional and dedicated. That merits
high in my book. Then again, he had to go and ruin my
revised opinion of him.
“Why haven’t you called?”
Oh dear god in heaven, had he just asked me that?
That is the question that almost every single girl
I’ve taken out has asked me, usually followed by ‘you
insensitive jerk-off’ or something to that effect.
“Are you kidding me?”
I hoped that I sounded as incredulous as I felt. Why
in the world would I have called him? He had pissed
me off so thoroughly that my entire firm thought that
I was a walking bomb.
“Not at all. I had hoped that we could talk some
He sounded so calm and reasonable that it irked me
more than it should have. What did he mean by that
when all we did at the coffee shop was trade some
observations, insults and barbs?
“I do not want to talk to you. I don’t want anything
to do with you except in the courtroom, okay? And
after that, I don’t want to see you ever again.”
When I wish it, I can sound like a total soulless
bastard. It works to get rid of unwanted female
attention and stalkers off my back. Should I be
surprised that it did not work on Heero? Most likely
“You say that now,” he says with that damnable smirk,
“but you won’t be saying it later. Don’t be afraid of
possibilities. Call me.”
At that moment, I wondered if I could kill him and
stuff him under the conference table without anyone
noticing. Really. He had the gall to tell me that I
wanted contact with him? That I was afraid of him? I
take back all the nice things I ever said about Heero,
even the gorgeous guy part. He has crossed the line.
“Don’t hold your breath,” I grate out through clenched
teeth and this time, it is I who leave first. I hope
he was gaping at me as I gaped at his retreating form
that Saturday night.
As I entered the courtroom once again, I made a
conscious effort to keep Heero out of my mind and put
back on my cool mask of professionalism. He would not
ruin what I do best nor would he intrude into my
thoughts. I was done with him after he testified.
Unfortunately, the damn trial lasted two and a half
weeks and during that time, I avoided Heero like the
plague. I knew he was in the building, probably on
the same floor as me, but I knew this court house so
damn well that I could duck into wherever if I felt
his presence coming close. It was a cowardly tactic,
but I really couldn’t think of anything else to do.
I believe the day when I put him on the witness stand
was one of the most courageous, if not the best,
acting I have ever done in my entire life. I treated
him with courtesy, respect and asked him questions in
a calm and soothing tone. None of the anger or the
sheer dislike for him came through at all. I must say
though, throughout the direct examination, Heero did
not even once hint that we had a whole load of icky
between us. He was so damned professional that I was
impressed by the whole performance.
The trial did come to an end finally, my client was
acquitted for which I am not entirely happy, and I was
free of Heero. No more interaction with him. During
the hellish two and a half weeks, I had gladly given
up going to the Tornado Fodder, my favorite and most
frequented bar, so that I would not run into him even
by chance. I had avoided him thoroughly as possible
in the court house. Quatre and Trowa thought I was
losing some bolts in my brain when I suggested that we
never go out again and stay in forever. All my
sacrifices later, I would be free of him and it would
all be worth it.
I did mention Heero has a way of messing up all my
plans, right? Why should this be any different?
Two days after the jury verdict came in, it was a gray
Friday. It seemed like rain but it didn’t even
sprinkle. That should have set me off that the day
would not bode well. It was nearly the end of the
work day and I had just called Quatre and Trowa to say
we should go out. They had agreed readily, probably
relieved that I was finally over my strange
introverted phase. Despite my bad habits, I think it
disturbed them that I had not gone to a single bar or
club in two and a half weeks.
I was getting my things together, whistling a happy
little tune when there was a knock at my office door.
My secretary had gone home early, I had insisted. She
had put up with me for a while as an ogre so she
definitely deserved it. So that meant any visitor
would bypass the secretarial safety line and come
straight to me.
Foolishly, I said ‘enter’ without thinking about the
I froze. Deer in headlights does not begin to
“I’m glad I caught you. I wanted to see if you were
free for the evening.”
Heero walked into my office, his nice shoes making
shallow impressions in my nice carpet as he made his
way towards my desk and me. I was still frozen,
unable to say anything, forever paused in the motion
of putting my laptop into my briefcase.
“So, are you? Free for the evening?”
He is damned persistent. More than I could ever dream
of being. My voice decided to make an appearance at
this point, but obviously, my brain had yet to catch
“More or less. Just an evening out with friends.”
“More than free or less than free?”
Here I stand, suffering from apoplexy, and Heero is
trying to play word games with me. His blue eyes
sparkled with a light as he spoke to me, practically
daring me to do something foolish. Why won’t this guy
give up on me? I didn’t think I had given much
indication that I liked him in any way. Quite
frankly, I seemed to remember running away from him
every chance I had, making it known that I wanted
nothing from him except a wide range of personal
space. I really was ready to cast a pithy comment at
him, designed to deflate the dancing lights in his
eyes, to let him know on no uncertain terms just what
I felt about him. I do surprise myself with my idiocy
on some occasions and this was one of them.
“You can come.”
Oh god. My brain really is on vacation.
He smiles then. That beautiful one. It still made me
feel light headed and fuzzy minded, the way he
radiated contentment from that one lovely smile. In
that space of time, I forgot that I disliked him
intensely, that I did not ever want to see him again.
It is during his amazing smile that I remember that I
still have that piece of paper with his phone number
on it. I never did throw it out.
As we walk out of my office, I realize that I’m really
in for it. Whatever that ‘it’ is, I hope that I’m