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fic - watering hole part 5 [haven] - the turnip patch
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turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - watering hole part 5 [haven]
Title:  Watering Hole Part 5
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  Continuation of Watering Hole Part 4.  There shall NOT be a part 6!  Yippee!

Notes:  I didn't want to keep creating new agents, so I went back and actually dug out some names.  And found out some things I didn't know.  Heero's class reportedly had eighteen people in it.  And Duo actually named a bunch more people, this time by their last name, on the first day of class.  Who knew?

Additional Notes:  That bit about the kidneys I heard from someone who heard it from a guy who's got a black belt in something or another.  I only assume its correctness.  Also, for reference's sake, the internet tells me that the minimum height requirement for joining the US army is 60".  In AC195, the boys clocked in at 154 cm (60.63"), as I recall from official stats.



Watering Hole
Part 5
A Moment of Haven


"So what's it like, having that guy as a partner?"

Duo looked innocently at his former student.  "What do you mean?"

"He seems like a..."

"...a demented little fuck?" he muttered.

"Excuse me?"

"An odd duck," Duo repeated mildly.  "A bit of an odd duck.  But he grows on you."

Garrison gave him a skeptical glance, then snuck a look over to Yuy's table, where he was earnestly discussing the day's final exams with a few of his own students.  Salt shakers and bottle caps were being used to represent the positions of the various squads.  "Hard to work with.  Seems like he'd be hard to work with."

Duo thought it was kind of adorable, the way Yuy was reviewing his kids right now, but he hid it behind a smirk.  "Totally was at first.  Like you wouldn't believe.  Bastard didn't even give me his name for the longest time."

"Oh, ha, I get it now.  When we went over how to warm up to difficult people to get intel out of them, or just to work with them or whatever.  I'm seriously gonna have to try that out then, considering what kind of success you seem to have had with that guy."

"Geez."  You tell a guy a simple fact about your personal history, and suddenly people start thinking they know everything about you, he thought.  This was why he didn't like talking about himself.  Well, one reason out of many, anyway.  "Yanno, actually I picked up a lot of that from another buddy of mine.  Lion tamer."

Andrei laughed.  "Lion tamer?  Really?  Gonna have to do better than that."

"No, seriously.  Okay, I guess that's not his primary profession.  But I think he's more than just a clown these days."

"You're digging yourself a deeper hole, Maxwell.  Didn't you also tell us to always keep it simple?"

"I'm not shitting you guys!  You're all the ones making things complicated, reading into the things I taught you.  You guys have got to learn to look around you at everyday stuff and start picking things up."

"You call knowing a clown -- claiming to know a clown -- a lion taming clown -- 'everyday stuff'?  If I had to choose which story was more likely, that you learned from taming lions, or taming Yuys, I'd choose the second one."

"Ha, taming?  Another thing I learned from my lion-taming clown buddy?  Lions are never tamed.  You just convince them that it's uncool of them to eat you."



"You know," Manning started, indicating the conversation behind him with a twitch of his chin.  "I'm not really listening to them, and all I heard was 'lion-taming clown'.  How the heck does that even come up in a conversation?"

Heero sighed.  "He comes up at the oddest times."

"...The lion-taming clown?  What, is that just one of Maxwell's things or something?"

"You mean like a running gag?" Diaz asked.

"He's no gag," Heero explained unhelpfully.  "Well, no more than a clown would otherwise be a gag, I suppose.  He's not a very funny clown, anyway."

"Man.  What's it like, working with a guy like that?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, I guess he must take his job seriously if he got this teaching gig... How did you guys get these teaching gigs, anyway?"

Now there was a good question.  Too bad it had such a poor answer.  "HQ has to give us something to do once in a while.  This was just the, hmm, flavor of the month?"  He ended on an upward note, borrowing a phrase from Duo and being fairly certain he was using it properly.

"What do you guys do the rest of the time?"

Diaz snorted.  "Try not to tear out each other's throats?"

Heero knew that there was a bit of verbal sparring going on between them oftentimes, and they had been perhaps a bit volatile on occasion, but he really didn't understand why people seemed to assume they would devolve into physical violence so easily.  "That would be messy.  If I wanted to go for a discreet kill, I would choose something with less blood loss.  It's difficult to conceal a body when you're leaving a trail of blood behind."

"Well, at least it'd be quiet."

"You'd have to cut quite a bit to get to the vocal cords.  If you stab a man in the kidneys instead, that pain should be sufficient to prevent him from crying out.  From there, you can choose the killing blow of your choice."

Manning slapped the table lightly to emphasize his amusement.  "Ha, man, I think it'd be more interesting to ask Maxwell what it's like working with our Yuy here."

Diaz looked over to Maxwell's table.  As expected, there was a lively debate with comic overtones going on over there.  "You guys must be a riot in the field."

Riot in a wreaking havoc kind of way, perhaps, were they to be given those sorts of opportunities.  "As Caulfield has pointed out, we're not exactly active field agents.  We don't do all that much work with each other."

"So why they'd stick you guys together?"

"Convenience, I imagine.  If one of us gets in trouble, we both get in trouble."  As far as he knew, they were the only two pilots under such an arrangement.  He wondered if they had put themselves at a disadvantage by deciding to stick together, but in light of the overwhelming number of advantages they had uncovered, he would have to say the matter was irrelevant.

"Keepers, huh?  If you're gonna be that much trouble, why'd they even bother recruiting you, anyway?  You're not exactly their standard hires."

Manning leaned forward as if he had the perfect answer.  "Hell, if you were management, wouldn't you want to make sure these guys were on our side?  This way's probably more convenient keeping tabs on them until they grow up and get to be real agents."

"How old are you, anyway?"

Always a tricky question.  "Nineteen.  Or so."  Fortunately for him, they seemed to ignore the allowance for error in his response.

"Hey, I think that is old enough to apply for basic, ain't it?  What are they waiting for, then?"

Manning sat up nice and straight and made sure his head level was as far above Diaz's as possible.  "Ha, gotta pass the minimum height requirement, too, right?  How long you think that's gonna take?"

Diaz glowered and refused to unslouch.  His smaller size had proven to be no disadvantage to him in class, and so he wasn't about to be bothered by it now.  Especially since Yuy was shorter than them both and could still wipe the floor with them.  "What are the minimum height requirements?"

"You know, I've never bothered to think about it.  Never been an issue for me."

"Now there's an interesting idea," Heero pondered aloud.  As amusing as it would be to regretfully inform Une that he couldn't join up because of the height requirements, he was certain that he and Duo would receive an immediate waiver if necessary.  But the look on Une's face would surely be worth something.



They were on their way out the door when they were intercepted by Agent Caulfield.  Open but vaguely wary looks were exchanged for a few seconds before Caulfield explained himself.  "Hey... I just wanted to say... Nice working with you."

Heero responded with a dip of his head.  "Likewise."  He would have left it there, except for the niggling feeling that society was suggesting he reciprocate with something more substantial.  "You did well in class.  I hope you find what you learned here useful."

"Yeah, I'm sure I will.  And... I didn't mean to come off so suspicious of you.  Occupational hazard, I guess."

"Completely understandable, especially given the circumstances."

Another few seconds of somewhat less awkward but still somewhat strained silence.  "Okay, well don't let me keep you.  Nice meeting you, too, Maxwell."

"Same here," Duo chirped, altogether too amused by this entire exchange.  For some reason, his response earned him a strange look.  "Yes?"

A faint furrow formed on Caulfield's brow.  "You... just looked familiar somehow, all of a sudden.  You remind me of..."  His eyes widened.  "...someone I saw in a video once."

"Oh?"  Strange, but strange things had happened.  Duo shrugged it off with a chuckle.  "That's my movie star charm shining through, I guess."

"A kid...," Caulfield continued slowly, as if he was having some trouble reconciling some things in his head.  "...held in custody by OZ forces... somewhere in space.  They said he was..."

That was unexpected.  Duo chose the fast and loose route.  "Oh, ha, that kid?  Yeah, I've heard that, actually.  It's the hair.  No one ever looks past the hair, yanno?"

"...Maybe.  I guess it wasn't a very clear shot..."

"Sorry, man.  That'd be a trip, though, don't you think?"  He smiled toothily, deliberately caught the eye of a student they hadn't officially said good night to and waved a farewell to him.  "Anyway.  Probably getting past our bedtimes.  See y'all, everyone!"

Heero nodded goodbye to Caulfield, though he could have been dismissing him, and they turned to finish their walk to the exit.

"You know," Duo started casually.  "I heard a rumor that that kid was just some innocent kid they nabbed off the street for some showboating."

"I heard that, too.  Unlucky bastard."

"Yeah, tell me about it.  Wouldn't have wanted to be him.  You'd think they'd have nabbed someone more piloty, though."

Heero couldn't imagine who would have qualified.  None of them really came off as the evil terrorist type.  Well, not at first glance, anyway, particuarly when unarmed and being dragged along by a couple of unsympathetic guards.  "Probably went with whomever they had."

"Not like they didn't have a lion-taming clown on hand."

"...That would have been better?"

Duo blithely ignored the question as he waved at another agent.  "And you know what's really crazy?  We work for the lady that made that happen.  How twisted is the world?"

"World can't be that terrible.  I heard that unlucky bastard got saved by a buddy of his."

"Heh, yeah, I guess it all turned out alright in the end, then."  They successfully made it to the door without being waylaid by any other people, and saw nothing but a clear path between themselves and their vehicle.  Duo waited until the car door had closed behind him before wriggling in his seat and drawing something out of his pocket.  "Aw, geez, finally.  This thing's fucking cold."

"What... really?"

"Yup.  I win."

"Legally?"

"Totally!  It was just sitting on a table, and I know it was abandoned because I watched Joey leave without opening it."

"...Fine."

"Yup, I totally win."  He pulled the cup holder out of its compartment and settled the bottle of beer into it proudly.  After they both looked at it for a few seconds, Duo spoke.  "Hey, Heero."

"Hm?"

"Why didn't you kill me that day?  You busted in there planning to."

Heero slid the key into the ignition, but didn't turn it.  Instead, he stared out the front window and contemplated his answer.  "You got to your feet and asked me to kill you."

"...You were being contrary?"  Yuy had given worse reasons for his actions before, but Duo sort of hoped it wasn't a habit.

"You got to your feet.  You looked death in the eye.  And you knew where your duty lay.  And I knew you hadn't been compromised.  We weren't exactly swimming in a surplus of pilots.  You still had it in you to die on your feet, which meant you still had something to give to our cause.  You were worth saving."  They digested that for a moment before Heero took his turn.  "What did you mean, you were destined to be killed by me?"

Duo had to blink a few times before he got the reference.  It'd been a while ago, he'd been in a lot of pain, and his primary memory was of Yuy silhouetted in the cell door, the light shining behind him giving him a divine glow.  If he'd been calm that day, it would have been because he knew that Yuy would kill him quick and clean.  "Heh.  Running gag, I guess.  Joked a bit that you'd be the death of me.  Triggering torpedoes while you were riding them, stealing parts from my buddy, jumping out of buildings without a parachute... hitting the big red button without getting out of your goddamn suit first.  You were gonna give me a freaking heart attack."

"Ah."

He wasn't done yet.  "Joke sorta changed... after.  You were the one that was gonna do me in, but you'd just died, so... seemed like I was probably good to go for the rest of the war, 'less I really disappointed ol' Shinigami."

"I... see."

He laughed with a bit too much cheer to break up the odd mood that had fallen inside the compartment of their vehicle.  "Well, what are you waiting for?  Let's get this bad boy into the fridge!"





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29 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
issen4 From: issen4 Date: June 8th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved the serious part at the end, but totally adored the way they tried to mislead Caulfield (and the snipe at Trowa, heh). This was so much fun to read!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 8th, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
If Wufei hadn't told them that little rumor, I'm not sure what else they could have used to try to throw Caulfield off the trail. ^o^

It's so funny that Duo doesn't like Trowa. =D
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 8th, 2009 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see Caulfield starting a rumor now... ^___^ Or trying to.

That's the best reasoning I've ever heard for why Heero didn't kill Duo. Logical, practical, cost effective.... *snicker* Pure Heero. ^___^

I have a sudden desire to cuddle both of them. ^_~
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 8th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who would believe something crazy like that?  Why, I heard that there's really no such thing as a Gundam pilot at all!

Really?  Cuz that's like all I've ever thought about Heero not killing Duo.  It seems totally obvious to me that when you have a fighting force of five people up against a military complex of, say, ten thousand people, probably more, you don't go cheerfully reducing your fighting force for no particular reason.  On the other hand, what's the difference between 2000:1 and 2500:1 odds...?

Don't worry, they'll be cuddling each other soon enough. =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 8th, 2009 11:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure Caulfield will drop it, because it's obviously nonsense. And if anyone starts thinking it's not nonsense... There's always that small private plane that regrettably went down in mid-Pacific. ^___^

You know how it is... Most of us just run with the "true love" thing. ^___^ In my case, just because articulating something like your Heero's reasoning has always been beyond me. The words fail me, dang it. =p

Cuddling is Good. ^____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)
... Either I'm just having a brain hiccup, or you/I just dated your/myself, because I'm not picking up on what a plane in the mid-Pacific has to do with anything. -_-

I had considered having Duo joke, 'oh, so you mean it wasn't true love that stopped you?' but I thought that would be too much of a jab at the people who subscribe to that theory. >_>

'Cuddling is Good' needs a little (tm) after it. =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 9th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC) (Link)
That was the 'official' story behind the disappearance of the bad guy in Iron Man. Extended vacation flying a small plane to Asia... oops. O.o

^____^ The Pacific is a biiiiig ocean.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, Iron Man.  One of many movies I'm too lazy to watch. =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 9th, 2009 02:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I like movies where things go "boom!" a lot. ^___^ My film geek RM thinks I am a Philistine. *snicker*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2009 07:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Watching things go boom is fun.  Making things go boom is funner.  I prefer my interactive entertainment. ^__^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 9th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I apparently lack the necessary coordination to make anything but myself go "boom!" in the interactive realm. =p But I'm fantastic at watching.

^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 11th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, well, you don't need coordination for something like the Sims.  You could always go make yourself a nice little Heero/Duo family. <3

Check out someone's account of the family he made in Sims 3.  And think of the potential. ^_^
pyrrhical From: pyrrhical Date: June 8th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was fabulous. ♥ While I sit here panicking about the LSAT I have to take in two hours, it was a good, refreshing read. Thanks so much for posting it!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 8th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you did well, I want to claim credit for it! ^o^
pyrrhical From: pyrrhical Date: July 21st, 2009 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Totally did way more fabulous than last time. ♥ 86th percentile instead of 56th, haha.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: July 22nd, 2009 01:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Woot! *puts this down on my gw resume*
pyrrhical From: pyrrhical Date: July 22nd, 2009 01:41 am (UTC) (Link)
XD! Legit~
(Deleted comment)
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 8th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, the turnip finally evolved, but everything's still pretty much the same.

I randomly remember that the boys were all 154cm (except Trowa) and weighed 45kg, and it was just because the numbers were similar.  Now why couldn't I have that kind of random fact retention for things in school?

And yeah, I did kind of think it was odd they'd all be the same. O_o
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: June 9th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Loved how they twisted themselves all serious there at the end, almost without really meaning to. ^_____^
The clown bits were just priceless... guy makes a great conversation piece; I was grinning the whole time Duo was doing his 'was so!' thing. ^o^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Luckily, that bottle of beer came to Duo's rescue. ^o^

Duo thought about bringing in the lion-taming clown's knife-throwing sister, but that would have been too much. =D
rochan01 From: rochan01 Date: June 10th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Love their conversation on the way out :-)
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 10th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC) (Link)
I keep thinking, well now, they could have blown up the mech of that lion-taming clown, but he wouldn't have been as pretty angsting over Heavyarms. ^_^
thekittywolf From: thekittywolf Date: June 12th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
These last two parts of Watering Hole, my imps kept going:
"warmer. warmer. warmer... warmer. colder. warmer. hot hot hot! oooh. diversion." in response to the 'guess where our instructors got their skills!' game. :D

dunno if that makes sense.. anyhow. Love Haven and have for a while. So glad you made the leap over to LJ.

Thanks Jei.


turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 12th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, that's our Heero and Duo: men of mystery. ^o^

Yeah, I'd been thinking about moving my old page for a while, and thinking about if I wanted to upgrade to putting a comment box on the bottom of each fic and other fancy things like that... then I realized that LJ already has all of that functionality built in.  Fancy that.

thekittywolf From: thekittywolf Date: June 22nd, 2009 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
*grins* heh.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2009 07:23 am (UTC) (Link)

nice

Damn its good to hear from you, so much of the GW fandom is crap, but despite this and the fact that it's practically dead you still seem to consistently pump out enganging and entertaining shorts. All I can say is here's hoping Haven never dies.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 23rd, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: nice

Heh, if I can manage to pump one out thing that's engaging and entertaining, I'm probably good on the rest of my stuff, too, since it's all pretty much the same.  I've been harping on the same tune for, oh, more than nine years now! o_o'''
_x_rae_x_ From: _x_rae_x_ Date: July 16th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I started reading this last week, and I was hoping it would take longer!I love Haven so much! I can't wait to see what you grace us with next! Again, I love how you write Heero and Duo, as well as their relationship. Thanks again for the great fic. I'm off to read some of your other fics!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: July 17th, 2009 07:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Have fun! ^^' I'm glad I seem to have a winning formula for their relationship... since I write it pretty much the same way every time. =p
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