"Merry Christmas, Heero!" Quatre laughed, handing his coworker a present.
Heero ripped the almost obscenely cheerful wrapping paper off the flat, square package, revealing... a calendar. He glanced up at Quatre's highly amused face. "Uh... thanks."
Wufei snorted, seeing the cover of the calendar, which apparently featured a scantily clad male model. "I'm glad *I* didn't get Quatre for *my* secret Santa..." He turned to Meiran. "Here, woman, open your gift."
Heero drowned out the ensuing argument and the rest of the office party's fairly inane chatter, turning the calendar over in his hands. The same model appeared for all twelve months, apparently... a violet-eyed beauty with a wealth of chestnut hair.
Suddenly he didn't feel so bad about giving Wufei a package of socks.
Stopping by Heero's cubicle in early January, Quatre lifted an eyebrow at the calendar hanging on Heero's wall. The laughing calendar boy, party hat atop his head, blew a kiss from a shower of confetti and strategically placed streamers, celebrating New Year's. "It was a gag gift, Heero."
"I needed a calendar. This works," Heero replied. He glanced sideways at the celebrating model before resuming work on his computer.
Quatre walked away, shaking his head.
During February, one of the new secretaries flounced into Heero's cubicle. Heero ignored her pointedly, until she began to speak. "Heero, are you doing anything for Valentine's Day?"
"No. Go way, Relena, I'm busy."
She sniffed and caught sight of the calendar. The model was now turned away from the camera, head turned back over one shoulder, inspecting the plastic wings on his back with a surprised expression. "I didn't realize they allowed... pinups... in the cubicles."
"It's not a pinup, it's a calendar. Was there something you wanted, Relena?"
"I was just wondering if you wanted to do something with me for Valentine's Day."
Relena sighed and left.
"Um, Heero, don't you think this has gone on long enough?" Meiran asked, gesturing at his calendar and the model, who was decked out as a leprechaun... a very hentai leprechaun.
"Your calendar... people are beginning to talk."
Heero looked at her, the blank expression in his eyes telling her that he was clueless. "Why?"
Meiran sweatdropped. "Ah, well... most men don't hang up calendars with pretty guys wearing little clothing in their cubicles." She glanced at the leprechaun on the wall. "Er... *very* little clothing..."
"People are beginning to wonder if, well, maybe... you're gay."
Heero stared at her. "Don't you people have work to do instead of gossiping?"
Meiran threw her hands up. "I give up.
When April arrived, the office manager paused by Heero's cubicle. "What an ... interesting... calendar you have," Treize drawled, taking in the model's skimpy Easter bunny suit (complete with fluffy ears and cotton tail).
"It was a gift, sir."
"I see... someone has good taste." Treize smirked.
"Indeed? Well, carry on, Heero, don't let me bother you."
"I can't understand why you keep that thing hanging up, Heero," Wufei complained, pointing at the calendar and the model, who was only decent because of a well-placed bouquet of tulips. "It's hardly professional."
"Look, I'll buy you another calendar if you want... just take that thing down. Please?" Wufei pleaded.
Heero glared at him. "No. I like it."
Wufei immediately flushed red and escaped.
On the first day of June, Heero arrived at work and found a calendar sitting on his desk, featuring prominently several scantily clad women. Smirking, he left it on Dorothy's desk and turned the page on his own calendar from May to June. His calendar boy was all dressed up for prom-from corsage to high heels (and not much else).
Heero smiled contentedly and settled down to work.
Zechs peeked into Heero's cubicle. Its occupant looked back at him expectantly.
"I just wanted to see what was on the menu this month," Zechs explained, grinning at the calendar. "Sure sets off fireworks, doesn't he?"
Heero glanced at the model, who was sitting astride a rocket and wearing a stars and stripes top hat. "Aa."
Noin dropped by Heero's cubicle. "Hey, where are you going for vacation?" she asked casually.
"Hoping to meet him there?" she teased, pointing at the model, who was lounging on the sand next to a beach ball.
Noin laughed. "You crack me up, Heero."
"He looks like one schoolboy the teacher would *have* to keep behind to paddle," Dorothy observed, eyeing the not-so-innocent-looking schoolboy on Heero's wall appreciatively.
"Well, here's those reports on the McKellan account... oh, by the way, thanks for the calendar."
"What's he supposed to be *this* month?" Sally inquired.
"Hm?" Heero looked up from his computer.
"Your calendar boy. What's he dressed up... or down... as?"
Heero looked at the calendar gravely. "A cross between Juliet and Elvira, apparently."
"Oh, I see... thanks for the clarification."
Quatre stopped by Heero's cubicle. "See you after Turkey Day, Heero."
"Yeah, okay... oh, Quatre?"
Quatre, on his way out the door, looked back at Heero.
"Thanks for the calendar."
Quatre chuckled. "You're welcome, I guess..." He continued out the door.
Heero smirked up at the calendar boy, who was in the process of sneaking a taste of pumpkin pie.
"Hey, Heero, are you bringing anyone with you to the office Christmas party this year?" Hirde asked.
Her eyes widened comically. "But I thought you only had eyes for him!" She pointed at the model, who was wearing a Santa hat and sucking on a candy cane.
Heero just snorted.
"I can't wait to meet this mystery date of Heero's," Relena giggled to Dorothy.
"Do you think it's a he or a she?" Noin asked Zechs.
"I can't believe the entire office is still gossiping about that stupid calendar of his," Wufei griped to Meiran. "Well, this year he's getting nothing but coal..."
Stationed by the window, Hirde called out excitedly. "Here he comes! ...I can't tell who he's with, though... All I can see is a lot of hair."
"Probably a woman after all," Sally whispered to Treize.
Chatter filled the room as Heero entered, carrying his secret Santa package. Just behind him was the slender figure of his date.
The room went silent but for the Bing Crosby Christmas CD.
Wide violet eyes laughed as the calendar boy introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Duo Maxwell, Heero's roommate." Seeing the shocked expressions on everyone's faces, he turned to Heero. "What, you didn't tell them?"
Heero smirked. "And ruin the surprise?"
Quatre shook his head. "I don't believe it..."
Heero tossed him the package. "Merry Christmas, Quatre."
"Eh?" Quatre pulled the wrapping paper off the package, only to find--
A narrow, chiseled face, half-obscured by a fall of brown hair, staring back at him with one inscrutable emerald eye.
As he and Heero headed for the punch table hand-in-hand, Duo called back to him. "His name's Trowa, and I can get you his phone number if you're interested!"