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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 24 [novella] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - i backward cast my e'e part 24 [novella]
Title:  I Backward Cast My E'e
Part:  24



I Backward Cast My E'e
sequel-lite to for promis'd joy
Part 24


"Hey, Tony," Duo greeted as they walked into the market.  He followed it up with a hand raised for a high-five.

The sophomore part-timer slapped the hand heartily.  "Hey, Duo, how's it going?"

"Spring break's pretty much here.  You taking off for the week?"

"Yeah, gonna hang out with some friends and stuff.  It's gonna be fun.  How about you?"

Duo grinned the way he was supposed to.  "It's my last spring break, like, ever.  I better not waste it."

"I'm just on my way out, so I'll catch you guys later, yeah?"

"Yeah."  As their employee left, Duo stared at the unmanned register.  After a few seconds, he blinked himself out of it and turned to his boyfriend.  "When you first saw me working here, did you really think I was nothing more than a bag boy?"

Heero considered the question from multiple angles.  "I'm not sure what answer you're looking for."

"Well, obviously not the one you think I'm looking for."

Thusly warned, he took a moment to phrase his impressions in the best possible light.  "I did not give much thought to who you might have been outside of the market.  There was no reason to."

"That's fair enough, if totally boring."

"Well, just what were you looking for?"

Duo shrugged.  "Nothing in particular.  Anyway.  Tony's out for the week, so... guess we're lucky I look so damn sexy in an apron."

"Depends.  What are you wearing underneath the apron?"

His eyebrows rose in surprise, but he managed a smirk nevertheless.  "Well, an apron at home would be a different story, of course... and since I'm pretty sure you don't even have an apron around the apartment, I'd guess that that... would be a pretty scanty ensemble."

"It wouldn't be very effective at doing what aprons are intended to do."

"But it'd be pretty damn effective at doing things that aprons aren't intended to do."  He leered cheerfully.  "Though really, I think they kind of are intended for that.  Otherwise why would you have so many aprons that say 'kiss the cook' on them?"

"So what Howard needs are store aprons that say...?"

A moment's thought yielded the obvious answer.  "Bag the bag boy?"

Heero spent a second preventing his lips from twitching in good humor before responding.  "Tony doesn't interest me in that way."

"So I'm your one true bag boy?"  The question was accompanied by a somewhat toothy grin and some gratuitous batting of eyelashes.

Snort.  "Yes, Duo," he answered dutifully.  "You're my one true bag boy."

"Glad to hear it."  Duo rewarded him with a quick peck on the cheek.  "I'll have to confirm Tony's shifts so I can--"

Howard materialized out of nowhere to slap him on the back of the head.  "You'll do no such thing."

"What?  Hey, what was that for, old man?"

"Didn't you hear yourself?  It's your last spring break.  Don't waste it."

"Hey, I can put in an hour or two in the morning or afternoon or something and still have plenty of time to chill out.  We already took a trip, anyway.  Not gonna take another one, even if it weren't probably busy everywhere anyway."

"Even if you've got the time, kid, you oughta get out of the habit.  You think this place will fall apart after you graduate or something?"

"After I..."  He trailed off, as if he'd never quite considered what would happen after he graduated and moved out.  "Well... we'll still be close by..."

Howard rolled his eyes.  "And what, you're going to work two jobs?  One, a glorious aerospace engineer, boldly going where no one has gone before, and the other, bagging groceries at a local market?"

"Well, shit, Howie, what are you gonna--"

"Not like I don't have hired help, kid."

"Yeah, but you'd need to have more hired help."

"Not that much more.  Or maybe I'll get a full-timer finally.  Not like I can't afford it.  Wouldn't be too bad, being able to have adult conversations around here once in a while.  Heck, maybe I'll even find myself a sweet lady helper."

"Oh, eww, Howie.  Besides, you'll need someone younger and strong enough to haul around all those boxes."

"That's what the young, strapping part-timers are for.  The lady would have other things to do."  Howie sighed happily.

"Just... eww."  Duo put away his disturbed face after a few seconds.  "Seriously, Howie..."

"Seriously, kiddo," Howard mimicked.  "Get over it already.  You mean a lot to me, but you're not everything I've got, so you go on out there into the big wide world and have yourself a grand old time, yeah?"

Blood seemed to be migrating north and settling in Duo's cheeks.  "Uh..."

Heero stepped into the lapse.  "We'll visit regularly."

"Uh... Yeah.  We'll..."

Howard interrupted.  "And make sure you bring me some nice souvenirs.  None of that cheap tourist crap, you hear?"

"Yes, sir."  Heero mock-saluted him before steering Duo toward the back.

Duo snapped out of it after a few steps and dragged them to a halt.  "Wait, Howie... I... You, uh... mean a lot to me, too.  You know that, right?"

Howard considerately kept his smirk to a minimum.  "Sure, brat.  Nothing's gonna change just 'cuz you're not in the house.  You know I'm leaving this place to you, right?"

His eyes widened.  "Whoa, hey--"

A hand was waved breezily in his direction.  "No, kid, I'm not getting all morbid on you.  Maybe if I retire or whatever.  This place is gonna end up in your hands.  And when it does, I don't expect you to drop everything and come back to manage it, but I'm gonna get pissed as hell if you just sell it off, you hear?  You find some nice person to keep it going, and you keep things on the right track, and God knows you probably aren't gonna have any kids, so way before it's your time to move on, you make sure you find yourself a good successor to carry on and keep it all 'in the family', got it?"

"Uh..."

"Good.  Now shoo."





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Comments
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 5th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Well! I guess Howard told *him*! ^_____^ Good for Howie!

Yeah, he better get all the really good stuff. ^__~

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 6th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Howie always seems to get the last laugh around here...
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 6th, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's because he has Heero backing him up. ^___^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 7th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Howie used to get the last laugh before Heero, too... But now, Duo walks away less damaged than he used to. ^^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: September 7th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Uhh.... Hm. That's a positive thing. ^____^

*still wondering about the clowns and Brussels sprouts*

sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 6th, 2010 02:32 am (UTC) (Link)
It's cute when Duo figures things out that he hadn't really stopped to think about too hard before. :D And Howard rocks.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 6th, 2010 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Duo just needs to stop thinking so darn hard about an awful lot of things.  It'd just make his life easier.
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 7th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
But he would be so less entertaining. :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 7th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
One day, I'll have to write something with a calm and collected Duo and an overanalyzing Heero.  Gotta rebalance my character karma.
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 11th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, actually... you should. *griiiiiin*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 12th, 2010 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Feel free to prompt me. *pbfffft*
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 12th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would never... >_>
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 15th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
"I would never...."  Hmm, I'll see what I can do with that, then. ^_^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: September 16th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC) (Link)
*blink blink*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: September 16th, 2010 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
*smirk* *cautiously optimistic smirk* Let's see what I can manage first...
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