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fic - axiomatic side scene [novella] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - axiomatic side scene [novella]
Title:  A Scene from Axiomatic
Summary:  Takes place in the middle of part 16, after Duo shows up to Heero's room that first time, after the night-time incursion against Meridian, while at Wufei's place, before going in to arrest everyone at Meridian.

Notes:  You have vanishingbee to thank for this part, because she asked nicely.  Twice. ^_^



A Scene from Axiomatic
from the middle of part 16


"I think he's out for real this time," Duo judged quietly.  Heero had fought the good fight against drooping eyelids for a few minutes there, but eventually even he had to give in to the demands of his body.  "Think he's getting soft in his old age or what?"

Wufei made a wry sound.  "Heero Yuy may be many things, but I doubt 'soft' will ever be one of them."

The look on Heero's face was soft.  A little bit tired, maybe, but maybe a little bit open, too.  "He's... changed, though."  Maybe Heero was right.  Maybe he was saying that too often, but that didn't make it any less true, no matter what Heero insisted.  Duo could admit now that, no matter what else he felt on the matter, he liked this Heero Yuy.  "He's definitely changed."

"You've changed."

Duo tore his eyes off Yuy to throw Wufei a skeptical look.  "Ha, me?  No way."  He wasn't sure if his eyes were pulled back to Heero, or if he just wanted to avoid Wufei's calm gaze, but either way, he looked back to Heero as he murmured a completion of his thought.  "Haven't changed nearly enough."

"Since he came back, I mean.  Just being with him, or even thinking about him, has changed you."

"Not for the better, I'd say."  His near-silent chuckle still had the ability to hold an edge.  Yes, maybe he hadn't been exactly happy leading up to Heero's return, but at least he hadn't had that discontent shoved in his face.  He couldn't say he'd been all that fond of who he was proving to be.

"Heero isn't the cause of your--"

"Yeah, I know.  Not like I haven't gotten an earful about it from everyone."  He pouted for a few seconds before running a hand irritably through his bangs.  "Not without just cause, maybe.  Doesn't mean I have to like it, though.  It's kind of stupid, though.  The only one I haven't gotten it from is him.  Well, okay, maybe a little bit, but not like... He's an odd bird, this one."  He sighed.

"Birds of a feather..."

"Ha."  It was only funny for a moment, up until he remembered that this odd little bird had disconnected himself from the flock a few years back.  But now he had returned, and... what did it all mean?  And why were Duo's feathers all in a fluff because of it?  "Think he... does this often?"

"Does what?"

"Don't think I've ever seen him so... frazzled.  He's usually more..."  His expression soured.  "Bah, how do I know what's 'usual' for him?  I'm gonna take a shower first, if you don't mind."

Wufei gestured down the hall in allowance, but Duo was already in motion.  He watched his guest pull out his kit and head to the bathroom with the stance Duo typically adopted when trying to walk away from something he didn't want to talk about.  Wufei shook his head and glanced over to his other guest, still napping in the corner of his sofa.  "You call yourself weak, Heero Yuy," he said quietly.  "And yet your mere presence is strong enough to change the people around you."

He left the man alone and retreated to the kitchen with their loose tea cups for washing.  Duo was right, to a certain extent, on several fronts.  Heero had changed somewhat, but they had all changed.  It had been five years since the end of the last war.  It was natural that they were different, even Duo.  And perhaps that was the most disquieting thing about Heero's reappearance.

Wufei had seen nothing amiss in Duo's development over the last five years.  Duo had never quite settled down and achieved much of a sense of permanence, but that path simply wasn't for everyone.  Duo seemed restless by nature, whether because he was accustomed to transience or because he was too full of energy and curiosity to commit himself to one place and one activity.  Wufei had believed that his friend could and would find his own happiness in that lifestyle.  But then Heero had returned, and whatever it was about his return that had stirred Duo up, it had clearly revealed that there was something lacking in Duo's life, something he had been chasing in vain.  Wufei believed that Duo had not consciously known it until Heero's return, else he would not have been so unbalanced by it, so perhaps Wufei could excuse himself for being equally ignorant of this discontent in his friend.  Perhaps.

Duo emerged from the bathroom in a quiet mood.  He stashed his kit in its niche before moving to the kitchen to help out, but Wufei was was already done.  They stood there for a while longer, Wufei watching Duo's glances return increasingly toward Heero until Duo gave up pretending altogether and just kept his eyes trained in that direction.

Wufei shook his head.  "I don't mean to question your judgment, Duo... but are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Duo's answer came without need of thought.  "Haven't an effing clue, Wufei.  Haven't an effin' clue."  He rubbed at his eyes for a few seconds.

"Did you resolve anything?  When you went to see him?"

"I..."  He turned to lean his elbows on the counter and stare at the backsplash for a while.  "'Resolved' some stuff, maybe.  Definitely didn't make everything make sense, though."

"Did you think it would?"

"Ha.  Good point.  No.  No fricking way anything involving that guy could be simple.  Not for me, anyway.  He seems to think everything's simple.  Not that I don't probably overcomplicate everything.  But he's still... a very odd bird."

"You... still worked well together."

"Heh, yeah... guess we still fit after all."  He said it with a faintly self-mocking undertone.  He turned around again for more comfortable conversation, or perhaps so he could look in Heero's direction again without being too super obvious.  "That guy... You know how sometimes you talk to someone, and it sounds like you're having a conversation, but you kind of get this weird feeling that you're not both having the same conversation?  I get that a lot from him.  It's weird."

"Do you get that a lot from him, or yourself?"

Duo rolled his eyes.  "Okay, fine, legitimate question.  Weird question, but point taken.  I don't know.  Obviously I think the conversation I'm having is the right one, otherwise I wouldn't be having it.  He's just... I don't know.  I just don't know where he's coming from, a lot of the time.  He's such a black box to me."

"Wouldn't the solution be simply to take the time and figure it out?"

"Hey, I'm giving him his chance now, aren't I?  Not my fault there's so damn much inside his head to figure out."

Wufei raised an eyebrow with some irony.  "'His' head?"

"Okay, fine, my head, too.  Happy now?"

He shrugged.  "That's what I'm here for."

Duo exhaled audibly.  "Yeah.  Sorry.  Thanks.  Anyway.  Yeah.  I can figure out some stuff, but some stuff I'm just not going to figure out.  Like this stuff with Zero.  And how the hell could he have just plugged in with the neural interface that night?  God, he pisses me off sometimes.  He's weird about Zero, Wufei.  I don't get it."

"We all have things we're weird about, Duo."

"Yeah, but couldn't he have chosen something a little less weird to get weird about?  Heh.  Don't answer that.  And especially don't point out something I get weird about."

There was some wisdom in the boy after all.  "See?  You two have some things in common."

"Ha."  His mood switched quickly from wry humor to brooding again.  "God, he pisses me off sometimes.  And sometimes...  I don't suppose we resolved anything the other night, except to agree that maybe it needs resolving.  Guess it was just kind of bugging me, not knowing where we stood.  Wasn't like a giant pink elephant, but, yanno, like a, um, small blue elephant or something."

"Will you be pursuing this... 'small blue elephant' further?"

"Yeah, seems like.  Don't really care how it turns out, one way or another, I guess.  Just gotta turn out *some* way so I can get it out of my head."

"Fair enough."  Wufei watched Duo watch Heero a bit more.  "What do you intend to do about him tonight?"

Duo blinked, waiting for his attention to return properly so he could answer the question.  "Tonight?  Hm.  I don't wanna wake him.  He's not the kind of guy that would normally fall asleep in the middle of a conversation.  He's gotta need the rest.  Meh, don't worry about it, Fei.  I can curl up on the other end of the couch."

"Are you sure?"

"What, you want me curled up on the other side of your bed?"

"Not really."

"Exactly.  Nah, it's cool."  He pushed himself off the counter and padded back into the living room.  "'Sides... kinda feel like it wouldn't be nice to leave him to wake up somewhere strange all by himself."

Wufei could only shake his head as Duo settled carefully into a seat on his end of the couch.  "You do care, Duo.  How it turns out.  You care."

He glanced over his shoulder almost guiltily.  "Um.  Well.  Okay, I 'care', sure, but I mean... I'm not really sure which way I want things to go right now.  It would be all kinds of weird, but he's..."

"Totally under your skin."

"..."

"That's all it really boils down to, Duo.  Is he in you?"

The answer came only after a long, pensive silence.  "Yeah.  Maybe.  I guess."

"Then that's that."

And Heero shifted and stirred and woke.

Tags: , ,

33 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
pyrrhical From: pyrrhical Date: August 17th, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. ♥ That was adorable and very good ending to a very off-putting morning. I had sort of always wondered how that scene happened, and this is lovely and very quiet-feeling. Which, I don't know, somehow makes it better? Though I think, maybe, it would have thrown off the flow of the story itself? It makes a very good interlude/off-shoot. Fabulous. AMAZING.

And Z has that amazing ability to be like, "Y'know, I wonder more about THIS" and then gets you to think about it, and before you realize it, you've completely answered her question and are like, ". . . well, damn." OR AT LEAST THAT HAPPENS TO ME. Stupid Z. *cough*
(Deleted comment)
pyrrhical From: pyrrhical Date: August 18th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC) (Link)
WELL IT HAPPENS TO ME AND, OBVS, THAT IS ALL THE WORLD NEEDS.

OBVS.

Owwie my thumb. *pout*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 17th, 2009 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, since Heero was asleep during this scene, it'd have been hard to tell it, being a 1st person tale and all. ^o^ Later in the series, though, Zero would have been able to record it for him and play it back later.

It's silly how difficult it is to write 'quiet-feeling' because that means they're just standing there talking and you run out of non-dialogue things to say about them. ^^'
lisagems From: lisagems Date: August 17th, 2009 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
hunh. interesting. Guess I'm gonna have to re-read Axiomatic, now.
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: August 17th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Concur'd.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 18th, 2009 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Take your time. =) Back in preparation for this, I went through and read up to this point, and tagged all the axiomatic-related posts while I was there, too.  It's a bad sign when even I get annoyed by how inconvenient it is to not have all of them on the same page!
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 17th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wondered what Heero missed by zoning out there, but I'm really bad at polite nagging... ^___^ So yay to zanzou_chan for being great at it. ^__~

It occurs to me that Wufei and Quatre may have missed their calling; perhaps they should be doing couples counseling. They've certainly earned their stripes with Heero and Duo in Axiomatic and AI. ^___^

Makes me want to hug Wufei. And then run. *snerk!*

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 18th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
It wasn't nagging... I offered her a no-prize.  It'd be poor form for me to offer someone and then not follow through. =) Especially when, all things considered, I know axiomatic.  Easier than having to write new stuff! ^o^

I think Heero and Duo would be pretty embarrassed if they realized how much they've needed other people to help them along in the right direction. =) (though heero would just kindly be embarrassed because really, it was mostly duo. ^^)
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turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 18th, 2009 01:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, it's funny because when I sat back and looked at it, I noticed that all Wufei really got, minus the very beginning, was just a bunch of one liners.  Basically all he was doing was standing there prompting Duo to keep on talking. ^o^ Hey, that's what friends are for, right?

And poor Duo. *pets* He pretty much acts the way he does because he just doesn't like the headache Heero gives him all the time. =)
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 18th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, these little side bits from other POVs would make a nice set. We could all go back through and go 'Here... right here... what was going on while...?' *griiiiin*
This was a very nice piece; I like poor conflicted Duo. And Wufei is just awesome... I like to think he mellows with a bit of age. ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 18th, 2009 12:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I just like to forget EW ever happened (unless it's convenient to me) because it's too much of a headache to figure out how Wufei went from Mariemaia to Preventers, and what everyone else would think about that. ^^

I was trying to title this because I title everything, but then I said, why bother? there's only going to be the one...
rosalui From: rosalui Date: August 18th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
SO MUCH LOVE!!!!!!! This is my favorite of your verses. :DDDDDDDDDDDD
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 19th, 2009 01:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm fond of it as well... but I think it's mostly Zero's fault. <3
33 comments or Leave a comment