She watched as he passed by her office again. This had been the fifth time in less than an hour, and she began to wonder if something was going on that she hadn’t been told about. He didn’t move quickly, in fact, she could only think of three-times he had ever moved quickly in the five years she had known him. All those times it was a life or death situation, and he had made sure everyone walked away alive.
His long legs and thinner body had made him a target from the other men in his unit. He was the one who didn’t look like he belonged in the field alongside of them, but she knew. She knew as the unit doctor that he was more than built for the job. He was an impressive man regardless of his body, and he was good at his job. It had led her to believe, of course, that she must be excellent at covering her own feelings. He never acted like he knew what she was thinking though he was apt to say whatever to someone else at any given time.
The slight friendship had grown between them, and he had taken it no further than that. She sighed as she remembered watching the other women in one of the lesser teams threw themselves at the men from his team and himself as well. It had been a wake-up call for her. Though he didn’t react to the other women besides a few curt words and a haughty sneer of a smile she knew sometime in the future some woman would finally catch his eye, and she would be forced to watch from them be happy from afar. The thought broke her heart. She knew it had been time to distance herself from him and that also broke her heart as well.
“You going to the bar tonight?”, she heard from her door as she had finally gone back to the files she was supposed to clear today.
“No,” she said without looking up. She knew who it was and regardless she also knew his expression as she declined.
“And why not?”, he asked as he took a step into her office. They had managed to keep a distance for the entire week as she had gently pushed away from him in almost everything.
“I have other things to do.”, she said with a sigh.
“Other things?”, he asked. “Such as…… possibly a date?”
“Is it any of your business what I do?”, she responded.
“That was not an answer, my dear.”, he replied.
“And I don’t have to answer that.”, she said.
“Friends share.”, he said, “I am curious about the man who could steal your heart away.”
“Only you thought it could be a date.”, she said. “I never said it was.”
“So, Princess what will you be doing if not going out?”, he asked as he was now standing at the desk’s edge. She knew if she looked up his light eyes would be dancing with merriment as they stared at her which always seemed as if he was gazing into her soul.
“Working.”, she said as she kept her eyes focused on the paper. “You do realize I have like five jobs around here and none of them are without a weeks’ worth of paperwork each.”
“You work too much.”, he said softly.
“Someone has too.”, she replied still not looking at him. She heard him sigh and watched his legs turn and walk out the door. She also let out a sigh of relief. She had managed one more interaction with him and come out the victor. She knew it would only be about a million more like that, but she would take it one at a time.
He walked into his cramped office and sat back into his chair. He looked at the open door and let his mind wander for a few moments before he would be interrupted. She had taken to not looking at him and giving him as close to one-word answers. It had started a week ago after the weekly go out to the local bar, and he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why. He hadn’t done anything to warrant such behavior from her. He thought back to the night in question.
The other woman who worked for the yellow and red teams were there and behaved as normal for them which in his mind was very much like a pack of rabid dogs. They were always on the prowl for a new piece of meat, but he was as dismissive as he always been. He was always careful around them because he knew they would just use whatever male they could and then discard them for the next piece of the food chain. He had rumors of other things they left in their wakes as well, and none of that appealed to him. She had changed after that night. As far as he could see she had remained on friendly terms with everyone but him. He could not figure out why.
“Did you talk with Princess?”, Hideyoshi asked as he walked in the room.
“She isn’t coming, too much paperwork.”, he said with a shrug.
“Too much paperwork?”, hideyoshi asked as he looked around their shared office.
“That is what she said.”, Mitsuhide replied as he tried to focus on the folder in front of him that was sent in to be reviewed before the end of the day.
“Sounds like she is icing one of you guys out.”, Aaron said as he walked by and stuck his head in the door.
“Why would she do that?”, Hideyoshi asked.
“She does that to save herself. She did after I moved out of the house we used to share. It took years to get her to be normal again.”, Aaron said. “She handles change differently than most. She doesn’t like it. She would rather spend a weekend doing paperwork she could easily knock out in an hour than face whatever is actually bothering her. Good luck to the guy she is icing though, he is going to need it.”
“Wait did you say after you moved out of the house your two shared?”, Hideyoshi asked.
“Why yes, I did.”, Aaron replied with a smile, and he moved quickly away from the office.
Mitsuhide knew the reasons they had lived together for nearly two years. It had not been a romantic relationship though both of them often played it that way to get others to stop bothering them. So, his little mouse was trying to ice him out of her life? He was now even more interested in figuring out why and what he had done to cause this. He figured he must have done something because it wasn’t like her to go off about something without reason. She wasn’t like other females who looked for things to get upset about without a reason. He thought about her in her office not looking at him, and for some reason, his chest hurt a bit.
He wasn’t looking forward to the weekend as he normally did. She wouldn’t be there at the bar. There would be no reason for him to go either. He thought about that for a moment, and he smiled to himself. If she wasn’t going tonight neither was he. If she was going to work to clear her paperwork, he would clear some of his as well. She would not get rid of him that easy.
He looked at the clock on the wall. He had enough time to start on his plan. He was going to make her talk tonight. Even if it killed both of them. He looked up at Hideyoshi and thought to himself how he was going to get out of going tonight as well. His smile turned rather sinister.
“I am not feeling too well.”, Mitsuhide said.
“What?”, Hideyoshi asked.
“I think I am going to cut out now. The files have been gone over. I don’t feel all that good right now.”, Mitsuhide said.
“Okay fine.”, Hideyoshi went back to his report and thought about what the other man had said. “Wait! Like sick not feel good or something else?”
“I have a headache.”, Mitsuhide replied. The cause would be a five-foot blond woman about a hundred feet away who had locked herself in her office, he thought to himself.
“So you won’t be going tonight?”, Hideyoshi asked.
“No.” Mitsuhide said as he started for the door.
Over the next few hours, she watched everyone file out the door from her desk. She knew there were only a few people left in the building. She hadn’t seen him leave though. She got up and walked to the main break room to get a cup of coffee, but she knew she was really checking on him, to make sure he was gone. His office was next door to it. He wasn’t in the office as Hideyoshi was pulling the door closed and locked it.
“Don’t work too hard Princess.”, he said with a smile.
“Everyone gone?”, she asked.
“Yeah.”, he replied. “I always seem to be the last one.”
“Have a fun time tonight.”, she said.
“I would wish you the same, but since you are doing paperwork, I hope you get done soon.”, he said with a grin and went to the main hallway to exit the building.
She wondered when he had left. She normally saw when everyone left as her door was the closest to the main hallway. She would have known he was nearby. Maybe her senses to him were already dulling. She could only hope. She started walking back to the office on the corner of the two hallways. She walked in and sat down. She could finally settle into her work.
He walked back into the building the way he went out through the basement entrance. Most people forgot about that one, but he never had. The simple one guard at the station shook his head and let him in. “Akechi what is all that stuff?”, the guard asked.
“Something I hope works.”, Mitsuhide replied with a sly smile.
“Some lucky lady?”, the guard asked.
“Or one very stubborn one at least.”, Mitsuhide replied back.
“Son, they are all that.”, the guard chuckled as he went back to his seat and watched him go up the back stairs. As he ascended the stairs, he was thinking of where to set up. He had to be able to get her to go into the room without her realizing it was him. He thought about that for a minute, and as his plan took root in his mind, he headed to the perfect room to get her to walk in freely. He began to lay his plan down with absolute precision. He knew he only had one shot at this. If he couldn’t work it right now perfectly, she would be lost to him forever. That thought was unacceptable.
A flash of a conversation they had filled his mind. “Hideyoshi must spend five hundred dollars of flowers a month.”, he said.
“Then he is doing everything wrong.”, she laughed.
“What do you mean?”, he asked.
“We don’t want flowers and candies all the time.”, she said.
“You don’t?”, he asked. “You do realize this is more than one woman, right?”
“I do. I know how he is. He is still doing it wrong.”, she said “We don’t need flowers that will die to show us men care. It is a nice thought every once in a while but not all the time.”
“What do women want then?”, he asked.
“That depends on the woman. It isn’t like we are all the same, but simply it is more about time then things. If you can figure out what a woman wants that has to do with your time, then you will have her eating out of your hand.”, she said.
“Time?”, he said.
“Yeah, time it is that simple. I like flowers don’t get me wrong, but I would rather have fifteen minutes of a neck rub or spend talking then I would constant bouquets of flowers that will wither and die.”, she said.
“Noted.”, he said, and he went back to finishing his drink. He filed it in the back of his mind and knew one day he would he would need it. Today was that day. It was all or nothing as he picked up the phone and called the main desk. “This is Akechi, could you please page Doc to come to the conference room?”