It was the strawberry that did it - in the kitchen, with whipped cream. Never mind Professor Plum.
Back at the colonies, fresh fruit and vegetables weren't really part of my daily diet. There were agricultural colonies, and fairly steady shipments from Earth, but it cost too much. It's never easy to steal something that's valuable. Fresh fruit was expensive - and I don't want to even think what real meat cost. The poorer of us made due with the substitutes the protein recyclers, yeast vats and hydroponics bays could offer.
I had a blast when I got to Earth, and tasted the real things. Sure, I'd had the occasional apple or carrot back on L2 - but I could easily mark each of those events off on a calendar, and still count more holidays. A lot more.
The day before, I had bought a small box of fresh strawberries at the market. It wasn't all that big a risk; the place we're hiding out these days is so remote the people barely know what a mobile suit is.
They do know their produce, though.
Which was why it was doubly painful to come back, walk into the kitchen, and see an empty green plastic container, a small heap of stems and berry caps, a spray can of instant whipped cream and Heero about to bite into the last remaining strawberry, cream top and all, his juice-soaked fingers implying he'd already dealt with the rest.
I'd been looking forward to eating those strawberries all freakin' day while I was out on recon, and to say I was pissed at seeing Heero snatching them, was an understatement. It didn't take me even a split-second to decide I was at least going to get that last one.
Yeah, I assaulted him, pure and simple. Plumped down in his lap and went for it. Of course, Little Red Riding Hood was well on her way into the wolf at the time, so I only caught her tail, and I fought against Heero's surprised smirk for the rest. His hands went first to the napkin on the table, and then to me - but not to push me away.
You know, trying to fish something out of a chewing, smirking mouth is damn hard. More so when there's a tongue in there to fight, too. The bastard toyed with me. I made a final sweep of his mouth, and I knew it was all over.
So, I sat there, glaring daggers at him, while he remained smugness personified. Damn rat bastard. "So... If that's what I get for one strawberry, what do I get for the other thirty-seven?"
I poked him repeatedly in the guts, hard. "What the hell are you talking about? I'm not a damn Hoover!"
He laughed. I applauded myself for resisting the urge to punch him. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "I'd say the judges are still out on that one..."
I really wanted to hit him then. At least smack him a little; he'd earned it. What I did was keep frowning at him, and growl. It's tough to hurt someone you really love - at least on purpose. I couldn't do it. He didn't seem to have a problem with it, though. "Jerkface. I was saving those, and you knew it!"
Still looking as smug as ever, he nodded. "I know." He reached over to the counter, and brought back a bowl I'd missed earlier - a bowl with all the missing strawberries. "I wanted to surprise you, so I washed them and picked them over for you. I..." And then the bastard had to go blush, if just a little. "I was hoping we could share them later - but I got so tempted, and I wanted one - just one, in advance."
So, he won me over. He always does. I've never been able to hold a real grudge on him. I can rage at him pretty good, but he knows the storm will pass, if he's patient. He knows me too well for my own good, sometimes.
We did share the strawberries later that evening; him and me on the couch, some movie or another on for cover, while we ate. The instant cream was sweet. The berries sweeter. Heero... was off the scale, at least to my tastes.
Heero might have plucked my berries that day, but I ended up picking his cherry.