Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, wish I did, just enjoy writing about ‘em for free etc
Category: Duo POV, romance
Warnings: Yaoi, lime
Notes: Don’t you just hate the pop-ups and the adverts? Don’t you wonder sometimes what’s behind them? Don’t you wish there was something more exciting going on in your Christmas holiday plans? Duo does!
Entry in The Maxwell-Yuy Addiction Winter 2003 Blanket Fic contest!
Feedback: If you liked it, PLEASE let me know!
“You are our hourly winner!” The banner flashed at me.
“Yeah, yeah,” I groaned at it. I was trying to pick up my mail – the damn system was so slow today that every other godforsaken person on the planet musta been doing the same. All the Christmas messages to families across the globe, I guessed.
“Upgrade your mobile TODAY!”
“Looking for Mr Right?”
“Lose 20 pounds in a month with NO Harmful Medication!”
“Lottery tickets on sale on line!”
“Last minute Holidays in Winter Wonderland!”
“Ten ways to make your fortune from a pointed stick and a plate of pasta -”
OK, I made that last one up! But the pop-ups were so annoying, weren’t they?
I sat there aimlessly, reading them. I’d really like that
I browsed through the other advertisements. Heero always said I spent too long surfing; led by my compulsion to check my mail and my favourite sites, every damn hour. Bless him! My friend the geek!
I wondered if he was doing something exciting for the holiday. Last year, he told me about this little cabin up in the mountains that’s barely large enough for a single bed, and with only one thick blanket to sleep under, and a tiny stove for meals; but he goes there every year, and walks the hills, and watches the snow, and hugs up to the stove at night to think about the year just gone, and the year to come…
He laughed when he told me, and said he knew I’d be horrified at such a spartan celebration…but I guess he doesn’t know me that well, after all.
Back to the on-screen entertainment.
Didn’t think I needed to lose 20 pounds – I was lean enough as it was.
I’d really like to win the Lottery…
Then I could find Mr Right and take him with me…
We could even upgrade our mobiles together…
I laughed out loud at my feckless thoughts, and cheered myself up. And then the devil got into me. What was there to lose, after all? It was only a website, and – as I was still waiting for the blasted mail system to upload – I thought I might just take a chance.
So I clicked on the ‘You are our hourly winner!’ banner.
I don’t know what I expected. Another huge advert, I suppose. A promised prize, IF I just bought this item, IF I just took out this subscription, IF I allowed them to bombard me with offers of a Enlarged Penis for the next six months…
That wasn’t what I got.
I got a slowly unfolding checklist, with a monstrously smiley emoticon at the top.
“Congratulations – you have won an Exclusive Prize! Complete this questionnaire – only takes a matter of seconds! Just let us know what kind of person you are, so that we can choose the Prize to Match your Personality!”
Blimey, I thought. I love questionnaires – and polls, and market research lists, and anything like that. Another habit that annoys Heero no end when I rifle through his discarded newspapers for examples.
I started to click away.
Age; gender; height; hair colour; hair length (like – is that critical? I thought, but clicked the longest measurement in the drop-down box).
Favourite sports: favourite film; favourite book… I had no hesitation with any of these, ‘cos I’d only just played the game with the guys the other week, where you have to guess someone just by their favourites. I dunno why I play it, ‘cos I’m always the one guessed first. I have my favourites, I’m loyal to them, and everyone knows what they are! Still, Heero enjoys the game. He’s way more difficult to guess…
Click, click. It was a much quicker response than waiting for my mail. Obviously the traffic on the net had eased up.
“Thank you for your co-operation!” it blinked at me. “Please wait a few moments while we process your responses!”
Here we go, I groaned, kicking myself for being dragged into this. The whole thing was probably a virus scam – it’d grind my whole system to a halt, and I’d have to drag Heero round here again, just as he was probably packing to go away, and ask him to take my PC to bits and kick its ass going again. How could I go all holiday without Internet access?!
He’d only had to do that six times this month, already. Come round and get me re-booted, that is. Each time, I’d potter round my apartment, making him tea that he didn’t drink, and leaning none-too-helpfully over his shoulder while he cursed and tapped and groaned at my exhaustive list of cookies. I was lucky that he always seemed to have free time to come over when I called.
The Smiley was revolving, winking at me. I wondered if I should go and make a tea, or call Heero before he left town, or throw the blessed thing out of the window…
But the message was back, flashing in garish purple across the screen. I love purple.
“Congratulations! You have won a Christmas
My heartbeat sped up a little, at the thought that I may have actually won something. But it was just a joke, wasn’t it? No-one actually won these things…
And anyway, even if I had – there’d be a catch, wouldn’t there? I could only take the holiday between the hours of 3 and 4am – I could only take the holiday if I had a Y in my name – I could only take the holiday if I shared a room with seven other families and a herd of incontinent goats…
But I leant into the keyboard, and kept tapping.
“Welcome!” the swaying lettering simpered at me. It was almost hypnotic. Heero always said he was gonna teach me to use that WordArt stuff, but I wouldn’t sit still long enough to listen properly.
“What is your
favourite location for a Christmas
OK, I thought.
What the -? My choices consisted of ‘Downtown / Own home / Small village in the hills.’ I tabbed around the box in vain, trying to find something a little more exotic, but no luck. Guess all the other options had already been dished out! Well – there was no fun in Downtown, and I sure wasn’t gonna choose to stay at home! I clicked the ‘hills’, with a resigned sigh. I somehow knew this wasn’t gonna be quite what it looked at first…
“What would be your preferred choice of entertainment facilities?”
OK, this was a challenge for me – the ‘Internet access’ had been severely greyed out! So had ‘spa bath’, ‘free bar’ and ‘Olympic-sized swimming pool’. I sighed again. I had the choice of ‘Local eating venue & outdoor exercise available.’ I chose it, of course. I can adapt, y’know…
“What would be your preferred type of celebration?”
Does it matter? I thought, wryly. My choices were: ‘Grandmother’s karaoke night / Game players’ Seminar / Intimate dinner for two.’ Well – depended on who the other person was, didn’t it? But anything was better than karaoke, or a room full of geeks waving small painted model soldiers. Everyone knows how I feel about both of those! I clicked.
“Who would be your preferred companion? Choose your favourites from below!”
First there was favourite ‘girl or guy – delete where applicable’. But the ‘girl’ choice was already greyed out. Damn program was turning out more and more limited, eh? I had a moment’s pity for any straight guys who might’ve been tempted to follow this path, but I clicked happily enough from my own point of view.
I expected a list of current Celebrities then – not that I expected for a single moment that I’d end up having a sexy tête-à-tête with Tom Cruise (too short) or Jonny Depp (too cool), but they usually structure these things to give them an idea of your preferences. Yeah, I was a past master of the Lifestyle Questionnaire!
But instead, it was a list of straightforward questions. All with most of the choices greyed out. I sighed (yet again), and clicked what I was left with.
Dark, short hair.
Ethnic appearance – Asian.
Slim, athletic build.
Interest in mecha.
Exceptional talent for computer programming…
I chewed at my lip a little. I had to admit that the choices available were mirroring my own interests very closely. Almost frighteningly so. I shifted a little uncomfortably on my seat.
“Thank you for your co-operation!” the blinking said again. The Smiley almost leered at me. “Wait one moment and we will give you your Destination and Travel Instructions!”
Now I was gonna go and get that tea… but the response came quickly. Another message in lurid purple. It sorta comforted me.
“We are sorry to inform you that there is a small problem with your Destination…”
“The location is already booked. Will you be prepared to share the Accommodation?”
Share? I thought. Was this the catch? Was this the herd of incontinent goats? Or – something else…?
‘Yes’, I clicked.
“To share all living facilities?”
“To share the bedroom facilities?”
My finger paused. Then ‘Yes’, I tapped.
“Can you provide your own Blanket?”
I laughed out loud. I hit ‘Yes’.
“Will you share a single bed?”
‘Yes’, I clicked. I heard the footsteps in the corridor outside my apartment door. “Yes!” I called out.
“Will you share mine?” blinked the last question I saw, before full realisation hit me.
Things were – of course - becoming clearer to me by the minute. I thought of the fun we had together. The way I thought about him all the blessed time. The way he was on my doorstep at the slightest excuse. The fact that I kept providing those excuses. The time he’d spent on my PC recently…
The vision of walking the hills in the snow with him, leaving a pair of footprints behind us, where only birds and small animals had previously been. No-one else around for miles. The anticipation of snowball fights; of hot, home-made soup; of peeling off damp clothing to dry it in front of the stove. The thought of snuggling up in a single bed with him, warm in front of that same stove. Touching his skin; holding him close. Kissing him. Pulling two thick blankets around us until the heat from our own bodies was enough to get us through the night; then throwing off those blankets, and laughing. And clutching. And gasping into each other’s necks, with sweaty excitement and pure joy…
‘Yes,’ I clicked. “Yes,” I whispered. I got up from my seat in front of the screen.
The final questions were still blinking.
“If you were an emoticon, which one would you be?”
“If your soulmate was an emoticon, which one would he be?”
I would tap through those in a minute. I knew the answer, anyway. Because when I opened the door to my apartment, to find Heero standing there, our matching grins were the brightest things around. Despite the grey, winter weather outside the window. Big, wide, happy Winking Emoticon grins!
“Help you pack?” Heero murmured. His eyes were wide and glowing with pleasure and excitement. He was just closing up his laptop and mobile phone.
“Yes!” I laughed. I reached to take his arm, and clicked my keyboard fingers in his face.
He laughed in reply, and let me draw him in after me.