Duo was laughing again.

“Stop that,” Heero ordered, accelerating more than he needed to and consequently taking a fairly sharp turn at a greater speed than was strictly wise.

“I really can’t.” In testament to this, Duo was still chuckling as he said it. “Just… the look on your face… If he’d been able to see it, he’d have probably taken back the invitation right then.”

“You must know him better than that by now,” sighed Heero. “He doesn’t take hints.”

“Yeah, I know. But it was still heeee-larious.”

“You’ve heard every single conversation I’ve had with him since he started being so friendly,” Heero went on in some frustration as he pulled into his own lot. “Have I given any indication at all that I’d like to hang out with him outside of work?”

“I’m not really sure you’re capable of giving that type of indication,” Duo said, his tone all of a sudden very solemn — though it was the solemnity of a joke at Heero’s expense. “In fact, I might just have a heart attack if you did.”

Heero had his revenge by pointing out, “You don’t have a heart.”

“Oh, yeah,” said Duo jovially. “Damn.”

“But seriously…” Finding that his usual spot was taken (again) by next door’s boyfriend (Heero considered it a tragedy that the truck was that familiar), he pulled into a farther parking place. “Have I given him false signals or something? Why would he invite me to anything?”

“He’s trying to get into your pants,” said Duo wisely as Heero lifted him out of the car along with his briefcase. “I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s nice in there.”

Heero didn’t reply, as they were passing another apartment-dweller that was already giving him an odd look at the sight of the doll in his hand. And once he’d entered the empty stairwell on the way up to the second floor, Duo spoke again:

“Honestly, though, I think the poor guy’s just lonely. He feels like he’s made a connection with you, so that’s all he’s going to see for a while. You could be ten times more anti-social and he’d still probably act the same.” Hastily he added, “I know, I know, you’re not anti-social. Hell, compared to that guy, you’ve probably got the best social life ever.”

Heero smiled wryly as he unlocked his apartment door. “OK,” he said. “Thanks.”

Wufei had invited Heero to accompany him to the unveiling of some new collection of figures from some show or other, and the current relatively rational discussion of the circumstance had only arisen after the incapacitating bulk of Duo’s laughter had passed. Now that they were home, however, the subject was dropped in favor of Duo’s usual flirtatious remarks as Heero changed clothing, Duo’s usual grumbling about his inability to eat as Heero found dinner, and eventually Oz. But it came up again later as Heero was getting ready for bed.

“I can’t believe that guy asked you out,” Duo was chortling after a long silence during which his mind had obviously returned in some amusement to this topic.

“He didn’t ‘ask me out.'” Heero was glad he was in the closet where his blush couldn’t be seen.

“Yes, he did! Looking at action figures together? That’s totally a nerd date!”

“He’s straight,” Heero said flatly.

“He thinks he is,” said Duo in a tone of correction. “I am going to have so much fun with him when I’m human again…”

“You’re going to try to prove he’s gay?”

“Well, that, and, like, put Silly String all over his car.”

Heero emerged from the closet at this point and began looking for a different shirt to wear to bed, since he deemed that last night’s had passed its between-wash limit. Duo whistled at his bare chest and started saying teasy flirty things, and this derailed the conversation again.

Once he was in bed, Heero found his mind drifting to the oft-contemplated idea of Duo as a human and what he would do at that point; and he had to admit that he really liked the idea of Duo messing with Wufei on a regular basis. Only (hopefully) three more days…

And it occurred to him all at once, somewhat idly — a clown of a thought — to wonder what would happen if he were to discover on Monday night that it had all been a hoax this entire time. After all, though he’d seen proof that magic existed, what he’d seen didn’t actually prove that most of what Duo and Trowa had said was true. What if it was all an elaborate prank?

The thought was too absurd for any reaction but laughter — out loud, even — which seemed to be the theme of the day, and Duo couldn’t but hear him. “What are you laughing about all by yourself in bed there?” he demanded.

“I’m not all by myself.” Heero rose onto an elbow and turned toward Duo on the nightstand. “You’re here.”

“Yeah, but I’m not in bed with you,” Duo said coyly.

“In one sense you are… you’re in bed, I’m in bed, we’re in the same room…”

“OK, OK, OK.” In the darkness, Duo’s little waving arm was barely visible. “But what were you laughing about?”

“I’ll tell you,” said Heero slowly, “but you have to understand that it was just a stupid thought… nothing serious… I definitely know by now that you’re a real person…”

“Whoa!” Duo laughed. “Now I’m really curious!”

So Heero told him. He’d been a little worried that Duo might be unhappy at such an idea’s even having occurred to him, but it turned out Duo was only amused at the hypothetical situation Heero proposed. The question of why anyone would want to trick someone else into carrying a doll around with him for a month was the subject’s primary source of amusement for him, and he started speculating enthusiastically.

And though the ‘anyone’ in this case was, of course, Trowa, Heero couldn’t be jealous — or anything but amused, really — at Duo talking about him continually, due to the wildness of the various theories Duo put forth as to why Trowa might act that way. In fact, Heero couldn’t help voicing a few of his own, or occasionally just building on Duo’s. And it wasn’t the first time they’d lain there talking and laughing in the dark, like kids at a sleepover, far longer into the night than one of them at least should have been awake.

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