< < I drank too much last night, got bills to pay my head just
feels in pain
~~~ August AC 197 ~~~~
Sally looked around the cramped office that she called her own. It was so tiny there was barely room for her desk any more much less the needed computer and overflowing file cabinets. And she was absolutely positive that adding more papers would simply result in spontaneous combustion of the space. Her effort to bring the nature that she loved to the space had gasped its last breathe the other day. Obviously there wasn't enough air in here for both of them.
Placing her hands in her hair, she leaned forward on her elbows and groaned quietly to herself at the thought of having to sort through the mess. She knew the paperwork that she needed was _somewhere_ in this office, but God alone knew where.
"Miss Sally?" asked a young fresh-faced cadet, looking around the corner of the door.
"I think she's in here," grumbled Sally in response. "Turn over enough paper and you might find her."
Looking puzzled, the cadet simply stared at the top of Sally's head looking for a more accurate direction. "Ma'am?"
"Oh God, make my day ten times worse won't you? Call me 'ma'am'," groaned Sally, finally standing and putting out a hand to the cadet. "Just tell me you're not bringing another paper in to this office."
Gulping, the poor cadet looked nervously at the formal letter in her hand, unsure of whether to hand it to the blonde woman or not. Though her job depended on its proper delivery, she wasn't sure she'd survive handing it over.
Sally sighed. One of these days training cadets would be the death of her. "I see that they are still removing the humor glad from all military recruits. Just give me the piece of paper and go."
Gladly, the recruit handed over the document and fled.
"Great. I have now earned a 'reputation' among the upcoming cadets," sighed Sally, fingering the official seal on the front of the envelope. Despite the formality evident with the seal and stamp on the back, her name was scrawled informally across the front.
Sally smiled as she recognized the handwriting on the envelope. "Well Une, what are you up to now?" she asked as her finger wedged its way under the flap and pulling it apart.
She scanned the contents of the handwritten letter quickly. Reading the words quickly spread a smile across her generous mouth and she sighed with thoughtfulness.
++ Dear Sally,
Your friend (and commanding officer),
PS If I need to, I'll make it an order. I'm going crazy down here! ++
After reading the letter a second time, Sally laughed softly to herself, the rich sound spreading throughout the room. "Not a command my paperwork! That was a threat if ever I read it Une!"
Tapping the letter thoughtfully against her chin, Sally managed to turn her chair around despite how tight it was wedged in the small space. She stood then and stepped over to the tiny window.
Looking out at the grayness of the colony's artificial night, she quickly made her decision. "I'll go. It will be a nice change and it will be good to see Une again."
Smiling, Sally turned back and regarded the cramped office with a smile on her face. "And this way I get to acquire a bigger office!"
~~~ Two Weeks Later - Colorado, Earth ~~~
Pulling together the last of the luggage she had managed to haul along this time, Sally and her bundles trundled toward the curb of the airport road. Une had promised to collect her and her assorted 'junk' as Une so kindly put it. There was a promised stop off at the new Headquarters first though, which Sally was looking forward to more than anything else.
With the sound of an urgent squeal, Sally pulled herself from the delirious fantasies of proper office space to move quickly away from the Jeep barreling down on her spot at the curb. Smiling she realized exactly who the maniac behind the wheel was and why she was baring down on her precisely.
Stopping the car with precision timing, Une stepped from the vehicle and came around to hug Sally. "Sally! So good to see you!"
"I could tell by the way you nearly ran me over," joked Sally, throwing her arms around the other woman. She inhaled that special scent of roses that seemed to waft after Une and for some inexplicable reason felt like she had come home.
Une laughed and pulled back to look at Sally. "It's good to see you though." And at that moment she realized that truer words had not been spoken for a long time. The sunlight reflected off Sally's golden hair and brought even more attention to laughing blue eyes. It was good to have a friend nearby for a change.
Together the pair loaded the lot of Sally's belongings in to the jeep and then carefully settled themselves in their seats, fastening their seat belts. "So what would you like to see first?" queried Une, putting the jeep into gear and pulling away from the terminal.
"Well," drawled Sally, peering around her at the new surroundings. The gorgeousness of the green mountains and bright blue sky reminded her of the landscape that she had fought for in China only two years ago. She smiled then, remembering what had truly prompted the move in the first place. "I want to see my new, vastly bigger office."
Une laughed and turned the jeep in that direction. "How did I know that was your ultimate goal in this whole operation?"
"You try working in a shoebox sometime and then come back and tell me my demand is not valid," countered Sally.
Laughing and catching up on the time that they had spent apart, the pair drove out to the far edge of town where a vast complex had been built to cover all the needs of the Preventer organization. The new modern facility had incorporate many of Une's desires and visions for what the organization should be achieving and the peace that they would work so hard to protect.
Together they toured various offices and training and workout facilities. Une proudly displayed her new office, already the furniture inside was liberally covered with assorted paperwork, prompting Sally's dry comment about the relationship between it and her old office. Rolling her eyes at Sally's feeble attempts at humor, Une then led Sally to the gem of the new facility.
Flicking on the working lights, Une turned to Sally and said proudly, "And a complete medical facility with not only resources to care for patients, but also complete forensics capabilities."
With a face wreathed in pleasurable smiles, Sally advanced in to the space, admiring the clean lines and functionality of the facility. "Wow, this is great Une. Quite a triumph."
"You haven't even seen the best part yet," commented Une, latching on to Sally's arm and dragging her over to a door just to the left. With a swipe of her hand, she pulled off the rag that hid the nameplate on the door.
"Sally Po," read Sally carefully, "Head of Preventer's Medical Facility…." Sally turned to stare at Une with some amazement.
Une smiled smugly in response laying a single long finger along the side of her face in a superior gesture. "Did one forget to mention that the move came with a nice promotion?"
Shaking her head in disbelief at Une's cunning and very self-satisfied smile, Sally opened the door to her new office. Inside she admired the creamy color of the walls and the beautiful new furniture. "I think it's ten times bigger than the old one," she murmured.
"Oh, at least twenty," agreed Une, smiling with pleasure at Sally's happiness with her office.
Sally turned to Une and placed her arm around her shoulders. "I think I'm going to be very happy here," she said.
"I hope so," said Une and the pair headed out for some dinner, leaving the light shining in Sally's office - lighting the hope of a bright future.
~~~ October AC 197 ~~~
There was a soft knock on Sally's office door. Without a pause after the knock, the door slid oopen and Heero quietly entered the room. Startled he stared at Sally's sleeping form cramped on to the couch. Scowling fiercely he realized that his attempt to get some early morning work done on her computer had been thwarted.
Sighing with defeat, Heero moved to wake Sally. Standing over her, he called out her name. "Sally? Sally? Sally!"
"What?!" was the groggy reply as Sally attempted to rouse herself.
Heero's sardonic sense of humor got the best of him then and he stated," I would have thought a doctor would recommend sleeping in a bed."
With a groan, Sally sat up on the couch, rubbing her sore neck. She knew there was no way to ignore Heero when he got in one of these moods. She was just going to have to deal with him and there was nothing worse than a grouchy sardonic Heero.
"And without coffee too," grumbled Sally, fumbling around on the floor for the shoes she had discarded last night.
Shuffling and yawning tiredly, Sally sat up and glared right back at Heero who matched her glare for glare. "What are you doing here?"
"What is so important that you must sleep in your office?" retorted Heero in return. "Personally I'm here to get some work done and obviously you're not."
"Nevermind Heero," yawned Sally, gracefully covering her mouth with the back of her hand. "Some days its just preferable to going to that miniscule apartment."
Heero pursed his lips together. He knew what Relena would want him to say and through gritted teeth he managed to barely get the offer out. "Then move in with Relena and me," he asked in a surly tone, scowling down at the unkempt woman. "You know we have the space and Relena would be happy to have the company."
"I can see why if this is what you're like every morning," sniped Sally in return. The offer was less than generous, but she didn't doubt that in his heart Heero did mean the offer.
Heero's blue eyes only blazed at her with cold fire and raised an eyebrow as he awaited a proper answer.
"And you know it would only start all sorts of nasty rumors," countered Sally, shaking her head. "You and Relena and I are good friends Heero and I don't want to ruin that with nasty rumors of a menge a' trois."
Heero blushed slightly and nodded his agreement to the statement, both realizing that he was really protecting Relena from such harm. "But this sleeping in your office must stop," continued Heero, thinking that there was still some sort of obligatory duty he should perform.
Sally sighed. Somehow she sensed that this was not an argument that she was mentally capable of winning this early in the morning, especially with a surly Heero on her hands. "All right Heero."
Not quite satisfied with the answer, but determined to take the issue to a higher power, Heero nodded and turned away from the door.
Sally watched as he disappeared down the hallway and shut her door with a sigh. She turned and crossed to the low file cabinet behind her desk. There she plugged in the coffee maker and got it started on her normal wake up call.
Sneaking across the hall, she visited the bathroom and washed her face and made herself a little more presentable for the day. Convinced she at least looked human, even though her brain readily disagreed, she left the bathroom and followed her nose back to the perking coffee.
As Sally opened the door to her office, Une's voice stated, "I bought you a couch so that you would have some place comfortable to sit, not as a replacement for a perfectly good bed."
With a defeated sigh, knowing she could no longer avoid the confrontation, Sally came in and sat down at her desk and accepted the cup of coffee that Une had poured for her. Sipping it gratefully she collected her thoughts while Une regarded her carefully.
"Care to explain why you are using your office this way?" inquired Une with a raise of an eyebrow. She had noticed the dark smudges under Sally's eyes for the past month but had simply put them down to the hard work that they had all been doing on reading the headquarters to be fully operational. It was only when Heero had oh so casually in a discreet email brought Sally's activities to her awareness that she'd put two and two together and gotten the four she should have earlier.
"Not really," answered Sally candidly. She hated to worry Une with what she considered petty problems. Getting the headquarters up and running was not an easy task and Sally had no intention of adding to Une's burden.
Une sighed and realized that dragging this from Sally was going to be like pulling alligator teeth from a live crocodile - totally impossible. "Let's try this again. I'm Une - your friend. Tell me what's wrong Sally," pleaded Une in a soft voice, moving to kneel next to Sally.
With a heartfelt sigh, Sally let forth the rush of things bothering her about her apartment. From its tiny size to the extremely noisy neighbors, there was nothing relaxing about going home. "Besides," added Sally, coming to the end of her rush of thoughts, "it's lonely there."
As her eyes widen, Une realized that Sally had unintentionally hit on her own problem with her house. A large rambling ranch style house, it was really too big for one person to live in alone. But she had selected it for its beautiful natural location, not the size. Reaching a decision, she decided to put her plan in to action.
"Then move in with me," stated Une, holding up a hand to stave off Sally's immediate protests. "I have more than enough room, can use your rent to help make the house payments and I seriously doubt that people are going to start vicious rumors about the two of us being 'together'."
Sally smiled weakly at the joke, her mind racing with the implications. She was unsure of what to do, but the temptation of the offer was neigh over whelming. Even though she had only been to Une's house once, she had loved how it was surrounded by nature and the beauty and bounty of Earth. And she knew that she and Une would get along quite well as housemates.
"You can have your own room," coaxed Une, seeing that Sally was wavering toward staying at her house. "And help me with decorating the rest of it. Too many white spaces for me to cope with!"
"All right," agreed Sally, smiling slightly. "You win."
"Excellent," cheered Une, standing up then. "We'll collect your belongings after work and you can move in together. _And_ get a full night's rest for a change."
With that parting shot, Une strode from Sally's office humming a pleasureable tune under her breath. Employees looked at her twice when she passed them in the hall, unsure of what had made their commander so - pleasant.
"What have I gotten myself in to?" groaned Sally, laying her head down on her desk in dismay. "I just don't believe this….. And I know who's fault it is to!"
Sally looked up with a gleam in her eyes and muttered, "Heero. Damn you.." She smirked then and wondered idly if he should be the first 'victim' to help train her medical staff for emergencies. It seemed to be an excellent idea.
Sitting at his own desk in a dark secluded spot in the building, Heero smiled slightly as he watched Sally and Une leave together through the survailance video feed. He then went about his work, savoring the fact that tomorrow he was sure to get done the work that he needed to.
Later that evening, after a satisfyingly mysterious email to Relena, Sally went with Une to collect her belongings from the apartment. Once she had gathered everything and turned her keys, she followed Une out to her - no, their - house.
Une led her inside and showed her to a bedroom, helping Sally arrange and stow away some of her things. Together they then toured the rest of the house, discussing ideas for decorating and furniture needs before ending up in the kitchen.
"Comfortable?" she asked, when they were busy contemplating something for dinner as Sally sat on one of the chairs at the kitchen table.
"Very," said Sally with a smile, turning from her perusal of the colorful fall world outside the window.
And together they made dinner and watched their friendship grow and
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