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fic - a slip of the tongue [misc] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - a slip of the tongue [misc]
Title:  A Slip of the Tongue
Summary:  And not in the good way. =p Duo's mouth and good intentions trip him up again.
Notes:  Hey, looks like I found some lint at the bottom of my pocket after all. (slim pickings down there, though.)



A Slip of the Tongue


"No?"

"...No."  Given half an opportunity and a little less surprise, maybe Duo could have found a less point-blank way to respond to Heero's question.  But now that he'd sort of said the first thing that came to mind, he was stuck playing catch up with trying to soften the blow.  "I... find you hard to work with."

"...Oh."

Ack, was Yuy looking... disappointed?  Maybe some mad handwaving could clarify his excuse.  "Um.  Like, not in a bad way.  Just... yanno.  Like, um, different styles and all that.  You're all hard-working and intense and stuff..."

Heero looked at him a bit skeptically.  "You aren't?"

"Well, okay, I'm not exactly a total slacker, and I could totally keep up with you."  Alright, now that pride had made him backpedal, he was left floundering for another answer.  "But, you know, you, uh..."

"It's okay, Duo.  I'll find someone else.  Just... thought I'd ask."

His failure to complete his sentence seemed to make Heero's shoulders slump ever-so-slightly, or perhaps Duo imagined it.  Real or not, it was just alarming enough to send him into hasty reassurances.  "No, really.  I mean, it's not your fault you're, you know, you've got a strong work ethic and you could run most people into the ground and maybe it's hard for other people to keep up sometimes and it probably doesn't help that you believe in actually working when you're at work or that you're highly connected or that I have a total crush on you or that you're hard to read, or that..."  Waitaminute.  Did he really just say...?  Oh bloody hell.  He tried to step in front of that little slip of the tongue and suggest that no one pay any attention to the words behind the curtain.  "Um... you're not one for idle conversation, and, uh.  Yeah.  Totally not your fault at all."  Oh please tell me you didn't hear that.  Please tell me your ears just glazed over as soon as I started babbling like an idiot...

Heero blinked at him, his expression typically neutral.  "...You have...?"

For just a second there, Duo had thought he was safe.  But it wasn't over yet until Heero finished the sentence.  Duo plastered a hopefully not-nervous 'nothing-wrong-here! move-along!' almost-smile on his face and waited for his fate to befall him.

Heero stared at him for a few seconds more before shaking his head slightly.  "That's not why most people have difficulty working with me, right?"

Saved!  Well, sort of!  Heero obviously heard the words, but maybe the move-along strategy had worked.  Duo stuck with it.  "Of course not!  I mean, not that you're not... Well.  Okay, I think Janey in reqs might have the same problem.  And maybe Cherry, too."

"...Brighton's secretary?"

"Yeah."

"Isn't she... forty-something?"

Duo shrugged, feeling just a little more relaxed about this whole thing.  Maybe he could disturb Heero with everyone else, and then maybe Heero would forget to be disturbed by him.  "You just have that effect on people, I guess."

"How many other 'people' are there?"

"Not like tons of people.  Just some."  Of course.  Duo wasn't and would never be a mere follower.

"Who else?"

"Uh, well, possibly at least one of the kids working in the commissary.  But not everyone."

Heero processed this slowly, a faint wrinkle on his brow.  "You... are not like the others."

"Um.  Nope, guess not."  He tried another shrug coupled with another attempt to sweep it under the rug.  "But yanno, even without that whole nonsense, you're still... you still have that effect on people, I guess."

"Oh.  I'm not sure whom I can ask instead, then."

"Aw, come on, I'm sure you can find someone who'd be great to work with."

"But if even *you*..."

Plus one to pride, and he could definitely use it right about now.  "Bah, it's no big deal.  Guy's entitled to his hobby crush, right?"  Aha!  The words ran like a revelation through him.  He could totally sell it as a casual thing.  That's all it was anyway, right?  He almost sighed in relief.  Yep, ol' Maxwell was getting out of this one.  "No problem.  You shouldn't have any trouble.  It's definitely not a hobby for everyone."

Heero looked at him with a steady regard for an oddly long amount of time before laughing abruptly.  It lasted only a second or two before he cut it off with a small cough.  "Sorry."

Minus one to pride.  That sucked.  "Well geez, me, too," he muttered.

"Don't be.  Sorry," Heero appended, the tiniest sliver of a smile hovering on the corner of his mouth.  "Don't be sorry.  Just ask me out."

"Just...?"  Duo blinked at him, but he was sure his expression was far less neutral than Heero's had been and far more poleaxed.  "...But... you don't date, do you?"

"I could be persuaded to make an exception."  Damn, it was difficult as ever to tell if Heero was being casual for real or if he had taken a page from Duo's playbook.  "Unless you would prefer it stay merely a hobby."

"Oh, hell no."  Geez, minus another point from pride, and this time, self-inflicted.  "I mean, well, not when handed the opportunity.  But... are you sure you date?"

"I should probably date someone sometime.  You seem like a good candidate for that position to me."

"Oh."  Ouch.  There went another point.  No, wait, was there a chance he'd misinterpreted that?  "But... like, there wouldn't be a lot of people in your candidate pool, right?"

"You're the only one so far."

"Oh.  That's..."  Way too matter-of-fact to be as comforting as it needed to be.  "So if I did ask you out, hypothetically, you'd say yes?"

He got a raised eyebrow for his troubles.  "Do you think I'd tell you to ask me out and then say no?  Do you think I'd be that cruel?"

"Well, no, but... you know."

Heero waited an appropriate length of time for him to complete the thought, but when nothing more was forthcoming, he prompted.  "No.  What?"

Duo usually had so many things he wanted to say that they jammed up in his throat.  Today, he had nothing.

The faint wrinkle on Heero's forehead reappeared.  "...If you didn't have a crush on me, would you still find me difficult to work with?"

"What?"  The change in topic jarred his thoughts loose enough to yield some sort of response.  "Well, I wouldn't say difficult.  I mean, you'd still be... but that's the good stuff... but... wait, I totally wasn't implying that.  You're not cruel or anything like that."  He really needed to start finishing his sentences.  And Heero really needed to stop asking him deceptively simple questions that had way too personal answers.  "You're just... you."

"What's wrong with me?"

"Nothing!  I didn't mean it like that!  Augh!"  He took a few deep breaths, stared down at his desk for a handful of heartbeats, long enough to gather his thoughts without the pressure of Heero's faintly wounded look pushing him into a careless mistake. When he looked up again, he managed a tentative smile.  "Heero.  You're just not an easy guy to get to know.  Hell, I'm getting the feeling I didn't much know you at all, really, and we've known each other for years now.  But I gotta say... the more I talk to you, the more I want to know."

Heero assimilated that information without too much of a frown.  "...Do I need to talk to people more?  I've noticed some people seem to get uncomfortable when I talk to them."

Duo chuckled.  Maybe Heero wasn't ignoring what he'd said, so much as having two entirely different conversations at the same time.  "That's got nothing really to do with you, man.  You're... you're cut from a different cloth from most people, yanno?  And people generally aren't too comfortable around things that are different.  That's their problem, not yours."

"What about you?"

"...I don't have a problem with you because you're different.  I have a problem because I like the ways you're different."

"...I think you're different, too."

"Ha."  He wasn't sure if that was a compliment or what, but it didn't much matter.  "That's probably way too true.  Well.  Maybe us birds of a different feather can flock together and talk about how weird everyone else is.  Say, after work tonight?  Over dinner?"

Heero looked at him, long enough for all those signs of consternation to fade away from his face.  "...That sounds fine to me."

Whatever that curiously light feeling was that was bubbling up from his belly, Duo decided it was much much better than whatever crazy things he'd been feeling in the last five minutes.  Back now on solid ground, even if he was looking forward to a delicate conversation on Heero's people skills tonight, he smiled easily.  "I'll swing by and pick you up?"

Heero blinked silently at him for a few more seconds, but this time it was as if he was simply attempting to absorb the fact that he was now involved in a courting ritual.  It eventually resolved itself with a countenance that was definitely more pleasant than neutral.  "You know where to find me."

"Sure do."  Duo sent him back to his office with a wink and a wave, but it was quite a while after Heero was gone that he was finally able to properly get back to work.


Tags: ,

27 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
sharona1x2 From: sharona1x2 Date: September 14th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC) (Link)
That was a fun story! It's always cute to watch Duo being at a loss for words. He should have known there was no way Heero would overlook anything he said. ^____^

May I please archive this at Moments of Rapture?
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Heero heard... he was just busy chasing the important things first.  As soon as he figures out whom he can get to work with him, since it seems Duo has some sort of an answer to that, he'll be free to concentrate full force on Duo's little slip-up. =)

Archive away. ^_^ Happy I am to meet your standards of excellence.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 14th, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh my... I giggled through the whole thing. ^_____^ It's a good thing Duo only gets that tongue-futzed with Heero. He'd be causing riots otherwise.

I like your lint. It's *fun* lint. ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Heero just looked so crestfallen, Duo wanted to make everything better!  ...But apparently his subconscious decided to plot the straightest path between A and B. ^_^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 15th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps Duo needs to have a little chat with his subconscious... Or not, since it got him what he really wanted. Silly boy. ^_____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Duo's subconscious needs to have a serious chat with him!
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 15th, 2009 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, that's right! *smacks his subconscious* What are you waiting for?!

^____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing, apparently. *smirk*
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: September 14th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
I giggled like a schoolgirl the entire way through.

True fact.

pfftt hehehehehe oh god Duo.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Duo's subconscious strikes again!
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 15th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Verbal Duo dancing! That's utterly the best kind... this is hysterical. Thanks for sending me off to bed with a grin on my face. ^_______^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
The sidestep is a very legitimate dance move. =)

(bonus note: you said i should write lint starring duo... and i started thinking about what interesting badass thing i could write about duo... and then this popped out. ^^)
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 15th, 2009 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Not exactly 'badass', I don't suppose, but very sweet! Should I confess now that I was talking about no Duo love in the comments to the last entry? *grin*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's kind of funny because I thought I'd actually get someone pointing out the Heero-sadness in this one!  I mean, Duo's stealing the show with the visible panicking, but there's poor Heero, trying to figure out just why he always ends up different from everyone else!   *pets heero*
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 16th, 2009 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey! This is Duo's moment, here! Heero got all kinds of love last time! :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 16th, 2009 12:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Last time?  What last time?  One person mentioning Heero in a comment doesn't justify anything.  And the last post before that was that Axiomatic side scene that was all Duo, wasn't it?

We've got relatively equal and totally inseparable representation of those two here in the patch! ^_^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 17th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC) (Link)
We like inseparable. ^_______^
shad0w118 From: shad0w118 Date: September 15th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
it's cute to see Duo fumble with words
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I think the problem here was that Duo had all too many words! ^o^
From: freashbread Date: September 15th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
theres a glitch in your "on to next part" buttons in Kyuuketsuki Duo. Shaken, Not Stirred goes to Life Support skipping Ripples in the Ether and Pennies on the Pavement
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 16th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Fixed!  My thanks. (actually just got two digits reversed. the link went elsewhere thanks to lj's attempt to match it to the closest entry.)
rochan01 From: rochan01 Date: September 20th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awww, poor Heero, and Duo trying desperately to read the subtle Heero-signals and dig himself out of it.

♥ happy ending :-)
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 23rd, 2009 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay, finally some Heero-love! =D

Duo will get much better with reading Heero-signals over time.  All he needs is a little more exposure. ^_-
kindigo From: kindigo Date: September 23rd, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, I'm friending you because I've loved your fics since GW was in its prime and I serendipitously just found you here, still updating to boot! That's pretty awesome, I have to say.



Duo just got so flustered when he slipped up, but Heero's calm is equally as adorable. Though it makes me wonder, what would flap the unflappable Yuy?
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 25th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC) (Link)
Ahoy there!  Welcome aboard.  Yes, I'm still here, still just plodding along.  Inertia is a powerful force. ^o^

Silly Duo, both in hoping Heero didn't just hear him, and for thinking Heero would give him trouble for it. ^_^ What would flap the unflappable Heero?  Hmm, dunno how far you last read up in Haven, but Duo's gotten a zinger or two on him. ^_- Doesn't really flap him so much as at least get him a bit nonplussed and confuzzled, but it's flapped enough. ^o^
tyreling From: tyreling Date: May 20th, 2017 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
This was adorable and fun to read! :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 24th, 2017 03:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Duo's just a little too quick on the draw sometimes.
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