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fic - wellington [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - wellington [haven]
Title:  Wellington
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  I bet it's not unusual to hear a stapler still referred to on L1 as a hotchkiss.  So too can the same strange drift explain this?



Wellington
A Moment of Haven


When Heero lazily blinked his eyes open in the morning and turned his head to the other side of the bed, he found it empty.  He blinked a few more times to process that information, automatically reaching out to gauge by temperature how long it had been so.  While it had happened before, it was by far more common that Duo be present, squeezing as much quality time out of the morning as he could.

Heero's hand rubbed absently over the warm spot in the blankets as he considered their agenda for the day.  Well, lying in bed wasn't nearly as wonderfully indulgent as it could have been when there was no Duo by his side, so he elected to slip out of bed and get on with his day.  It wouldn't do to let Duo get too much of a head start on him.

Duo was still blessedly indoors, leaning over the kitchen sink to peer out the window above it.  Heero elected not to muscle his way into the view, and instead just stood companionably close by.  "Well?"

"Looking good, babe.  Looking good."  Duo settled back onto his feet and looked over to his sleep-mussed partner.  He was forced to repeat the words to himself in his head as he leaned over for a good morning kiss to the corner of Heero's mouth.  "It's still way too early to start, isn't it?"

Heero made a tiny little sound that could have been a chuckle with a bit more effort put into it.  "We still have a run to go on.  And then maybe some breakfast.  And then we can take things out and get set-up.  And then maybe it'll be time."

"Promise?"

"No."

"Well, guess we can always just burn some time snogging, then."

"Guess so."

They didn't have to, in the end, though they didn't make it through their morning routine without at least a few kisses here and there, and in a way, perhaps it did seem to make the time pass more quickly.



"Whoa, hey, what's with the manual tools?"

Heero proceeded to the job site over Duo's protest.  "I'm just curious."

"Curious to know just how much more this baby here's gonna rock over that caveman's tool over there?"

"Something like that."  Pacing the perimeter of the dampened patch of earth in front of him, he chose a likely point of penetration and dug the spade of his shovel into the dirt.  It went in much further than it had when the dirt was dry, but not without resistance.

Duo peered around him, studying the ground.  "How deep did all that water soak?"

"I think it did better than expected," he estimated blandly, scraping the dirt aside to analyze its texture.  "But maybe not nearly as far as we would have liked."

"Boo.  We could only water it so much, what with all that runoff.  Maybe next time, we can build a little dam around the area or something to keep all that water in.  It'd definitely be easier than coming out here every hour or so to spray it down some more."

"Sprinklers, maybe.  Or wait until the rainy season.  Or start wetting it down more than a day in advance."  He straightened and leaned on his shovel with a lazy shrug.  "Well, what's done is done.  Time for you to strut your stuff."

"Just you wait and see, flyboy.  Me and ol' Tilly here will show you how it's done."  Duo politely toned down his grin at seeing Heero's ill-suppressed eyeroll of exasperation that was meant for the tiller's name.

"You're going to jinx yourself if you keep talking big."

"Don't worry.  I knock on wood once in a while."  He tapped his knuckles against the wood railing of their back porch.  "Alright then.  Let's get this show on the road."

It had already been proven that the tiller was operational.  After Duo had installed the parts he had ordered, he'd topped it off with fuel and started her up.  The old engine had taken a few tries to get going, but once it did, the tines rotated smoothly and Duo called it a success.  He'd even tried it a few more times, just to make sure.  But now for the field test.

He rubbed the throttle knob for good luck, then got it started.  Tilly obediently came to life for him, and he petted the shield on the engine compartment rewardingly before looking up to grin at his partner.

Heero just gestured toward the dirt.  He was going to withhold his praise until after it had proven itself conclusively.

Duo maneuvered the tiller into position at the edge of one of the patches of dirt they had wet the previous day, made sure he had the machine settled at a good angle, and then didn't hesitate to get the blades rotating at the optimal speed right from the get go.  The tiller jumped a few times, blades bouncing off the earth before getting a good grip and digging in.  Duo stared at it in some sort of wonder before letting out a moderate whoop.  "Now would ya look at that?" he said loudly, turning toward Heero to make sure his lips could be read in case he was inaudible over the engine noise.

Heero dipped his head in acknowledgement of the accomplishment.  He had never doubted the tiller's efficiency in getting the job done, not after Duo had gotten his hands on it.  The only thing he had ever questioned had been its necessity, but watching as it slowly scraped its way through the compacted dirt, he could easily admit it was much nicer standing off to the side spectating than it was to be the one doing the digging by hand.

Satisfied with its progress as a stationary beast, Duo pushed the machine forward one step, fighting unexpectedly uphill out of the small hole he'd dug and through the loosened dirt.  "This is gonna take a while," he muttered before turning to Heero.  "But man, think about the alternatives."

Not catching the first part of that statement, and not particularly wanting to ask for a louder repeat, Heero opted instead to step away from his spot of safety and stand beside his tilling partner.

Duo didn't notice his approach immediately since his attention was focused on the dirt, but when he did sense Heero standing next to him, he glanced up and smiled.  "Hey, joining me in my fun?"

"Dirt-watching?"  He stepped closer still, resting a hand on one of the handlebars, fingers in contact with Duo's.  Yes, they still hadn't put that privacy screen up yet, and yes, they really ought to consider doing that sometime in the very near future, and no, there probably wouldn't be much tilling going on behind it, but for now, if any prying neighbors happened to glance their way, well, he just needed to be close to Duo to hear what he had to say.  That was all.

"Yeah, I have to admit," Duo started loudly.  He toned it down after realizing that he didn't need to speak with such volume anymore.  "I have to admit that this is not exactly as thrilling as I thought it would be.  I mean, exciting and cool and awesome, yeah, sure, but I think I imagined strolling through the yard and leaving a path of destruction in my wake, not..."

"...inching through the yard?"

"Leaving a path of destruction in my wake, thank you very much."  He pushed another step forward.  "It's not much to look at yet, I know, but slow and steady wins the race.  We'll just have to make a few rounds."

"Think I should get the hose?" Heero asked, studying the cloud of dust around their ankles.

"I think it's okay for now.  But I'm thinking I'm really glad we watered the place down yesterday.  You know how dry this stuff was yesterday.  Can you imagine how much more dusty it would be?  Definitely more water next time, though."  He toed aside some of the loosened dirt behind the tiller as if to prove his claims about its texture.  It was definitely fluffier than it had probably been for a long, long time, but beneath the sadly shallow layer of reasonably moist dirt, it was clear that the earth was noticeably drier.

"Think you're wearing the right shoes?" Heero questioned blandly.

"These are my yard shoes," Duo answered, lifting and shaking a foot in his direction.  They were a pair of cheap sneakers suitable for casual, careless wear.  "You know I don't care if these get dirty."

"Yes," Heero agreed amiably, watching him make a little more forward progress.  "But I think you're going to have to stand in all that loose dirt pretty soon, and you're probably going to sink right in."

"Crud."  Duo hadn't yet considered the ramifications of following in Tilly's wake of destruction.  "Well, I'm not about to wear my boots.  They're just lace-up."

"Perhaps we should invest in a pair of Wellingtons or something."

"A what?"

"Wellingtons."  They blinked at each other for a moment.  "You know, rubber boots?"

Duo blinked a little more at this.  "Well, 'rubber boot' makes complete and total sense to me, but what the hell is a... what did you say?  A Wellington?"

"It's a rubber work boot," Heero repeated.  "One piece for complete protection?"

"What, is that a brand or something?"

"No, it's just what they call them.  I don't think it's just an L1 thing."

"Yeah, maybe, but it sure ain't an L2 thing.  Rubber boots are rubber boots.  I remember seeing them at the DIY, and they were called what they were.  Who the hell would name them something so completely random?  Isn't that a kind of food group or something?"

"You don't think beef Wellington is completely random?"

"I don't know what the hell beef Wellington is.  It just sounds rich and snooty and not at all like work boots.  Who wants to eat rubber work boots?"  He pushed the tiller forward again and decided to shoulder Heero over a bit so he could stand to the side of Tilly's wake.

"I do agree that beef Wellington is a fairly random concoction, but you do realize, don't you, that 'Wellington' isn't a completely unusual name, right?  There could be more than one thing named after Wellington."

"Who was he?  Some famous dude?"

"I know some pretty random things, Duo, but this isn't one of them.  Why do you even know what beef Wellington is?"

"I just said, I haven't an effing clue."

"Yes, but you recognized its name as associated with a food."

"Yeah, and?  I'm not allowed to know anything rich and snooty?"

Heero studied his expression carefully to try to determine just how up in arms Duo was over this whole matter.  He decided to go with a neutral answer.  "I don't think it's exclusively a 'rich and snooty' thing.  I just don't think it's very common in the places where we come from."

"How common is real, good-quality beef in the places we come from?  Or, uh, I dunno, is there anything else to it?"

"Beef Wellington?  It's beef..."  He paused, searching through his mental databanks for the answer.  "I think it's wrapped in something.  But I don't recall what."

"You know what we're going to do when we visit HQ?  We're gonna eat ourselves some beef Wellington.  It sounds native to that part of the world."

"You're planning our dinner itinerary already?"

"Yeah, we can make a sweet date out of it or something.  You're paying."

"Why me?"

"Because you brought it up."

"I did not."

"Yeah, you did, with the boot thing."

"I was talking about boots."

"Wellington this, Wellington that.  They're all the same.  I'd love to go out with you, babe.  I don't mind some fine dining, but do try to find somewhere that isn't too over-the-top snooty, yeah?  I'm not a fan.  Especially somewhere where we'd have to dress nice, 'cuz I'm not packing for a nice night out."

It was somewhat fortunate for Heero that at this point, Duo had to turn ol' Tilly around.  He kindly waited for Duo to finish the cumbersome task before continuing the conversation, and after such a delay, felt perfectly justified in simply turning the dialogue around in a new direction.



Some time later, Duo cut the engine and found the resulting silence rather jarring.  He shook it off quickly and turned to Heero expectantly.

Knowing full well that it was a request for lavish praise, Heero decided to interpret it literally and shovel compost instead.  "Why don't we start with one of those big bags first?  We can finish up with the manure one, just in case it's not pleasant to step in."

Duo let stand a pouting silence for a few long seconds before shaking his head in resignation.  "Just in case?  Judging from the way it smells, I'm gonna say there's no 'just in case' about it."

"Sounds like a plan, then."  He led the way to their hoard of soil amendments and waited for Duo to take up the other end of the large, packed bag before returning to the job site.  After they set it down, he jabbed at it repeatedly with the point of his shovel, cutting a neat line down the center of the bag to get at the innards.  Once he got to the point of actually trying to access the inside through his single line, though, he had to pause for a thoughtful sound.

Duo snorted and took custody of the shovel so he too could take part in the violent stabbing fun.  Since the compost/mulch mix was packed tightly enough to form the bag into a rigid rectangular shape, he cut a flap into it instead.  "See, that's how it's done."

"I was getting to that," Heero responded mildly, reclaiming his shovel.  "You ought to try getting off that high horse of yours.  I don't think you have any equestrian experience."

"Man, I totally get it now," he exclaimed as he took off one shoe at a time to shake the dirt out of them.  "I've been wondering all this time just where in your training you would have learned to ride a horse, and that's it, right?"

Heero thought for a few long seconds, but could come up with no retort that didn't leave him vulnerable, so he conceded the point with a gracious dip of the head and began shoveling the coarse compost onto the dirt.  "High horses seem to be the standard mode of transportation for men convinced that they can change the world."

Duo laughed.  "It'd be awesome -- well, awesomely stupid -- if our suits transformed into horses.  They'd be high enough, right?"

"Sorry, I'm stuck on the 'awesomely stupid' part."

Finished with his shoes, he took up the cultivator and started pulling the compost farther out.  "Yours transformed into a bird, though, and that's kind of high, too, though 'high bird' doesn't really have the same ring to it.  Maybe it could have been like a high-horse/bird hybrid or something.  What would you call it then?"

"A pegasus?"

Duo snickered loudly.  "Wouldn't that just kill your image?  We could be like one of those kids' ranger shows.  Each of us could transform into a different fruity animal.  Like, uh, unicorns, and, um, help me think of some."

"I'd rather not, thank you."  It seemed like rather poor mobile suit design to put both wings and four legs on at the same time.  Heero had never run into a situation where he wished his bird-mode had feet to land on, and he had to admit, even calling it a 'bird' mode required a little bit of imagination.

"Think Relena would have been even more into you if you'd been piloting a pegasus?"

"She said once that she preferred a good mystery novel over a fantasy one."

"Really?  Not what I would have expected."  Well, he would have expected fantasy, but now that Heero mentioned it, mystery made an awful lot of sense, too, considering how much of a mystery Heero must have been.

Heero picked up the significantly lighter bag and upended the rest of its contents into the dirt.  "She was wondering, looking back at things, if she had some sort of subconscious recognition of her princess status.  Maybe she wasn't impressed by the fantasy of being a princess, or she shied away from anything that reminded her of her past."

Duo stared thoughtfully at the dirt.  He'd expected that big bag to add a lot of volume to what they'd just tilled up, but after getting mixed in, it didn't seem to be as much as he thought.  Good, since they still had to mix in that smelly stuff.  They'd just take the word of the compost's packaging that it would really aerate their soil.  "How much does she remember of back then?"

"She said she used to have the occasional vague dreams and nightmares, nothing more than that," Heero answered absently, churning through the almost-soil with his shovel.  "Still has them sometimes, and sometimes they're more detailed, but she's pretty sure it's just her imagination filling in the blanks for her, now that she's familiar with Sanq and the palace."

"Huh.  I wonder if that's more sucky for her.  I mean, for us, the rats I ran with, it was always better, the less you remembered, yanno?  Though in her case, it might just be her imagination, but when you're dreaming, and right after you've just woken up from it, I'm sure that doesn't make a difference."

"Maybe it's better for her, now that she knows what she's dreaming about."

"Yeah, I could see that, too."  As much as he could see any of this.  It was a little weird to think of the princess as having the same kind of troubles that they did sometimes, no matter how watered down.  "Ooh, hey, is there a huge garden at the Sanq palace?"

"Yes."

"We gotta go take a tour, get some inspiration."

"Let's not."

"Huh?"

"The Sanq gardens are beautiful, of course, but... they're very grand.  Fit for a palace.  I don't think that's the look we're going for."

"Oh.  Yeah, I guess not.  Bet there's an army of groundskeepers or something.  Well, we should go anyway.  You promised to show me the sights."

Heero snorted.  "The same way I just promised to take you out on a nice dinner date?"

"Yup."

"And what do I get for being such an attentive, romantic boyfriend, hmm?"

Oh, he liked where that was going and couldn't help the lazy smirk that mysteriously appeared on his face.  "After we get all this stuff mixed in, you can run through it with the tiller again."

"After we add the manure?  Thanks."  He threw a little shovelful of dirt in Duo's direction, knowing full well it wouldn't get anywhere near him.

Duo smoothed the disruption over with his cultivator.  "Well, you can even do the whole next patch."

"Really?" Heero responded skeptically.  "You'd let me run your tiller?"

"Hey, she's not just mine.  She's yours, too.  You named her and everything, remember?  You are totally expected to join in on the tilling fun."

It was probably absurd, but Heero found himself strangely touched by that.  "Maybe I will," he accepted with a small smile.  And then, because it wouldn't do to let Duo off the hook so simply, "What else do I get?"

Duo chuckled indulgently.  "That's all you get as advance payment, buddy.  Anything else'll have to wait until you make good on your side of the bargain."





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Comments
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: November 4th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm with Duo; beef or boots? Wellington apparently got around. ^___^

That's so sweet, too. Offering to let Heero drive. ^____^

I called my stapler "Croc". ^.^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: November 5th, 2010 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually wiki'ed this, and of course, it's not quite confirmed on the source of all this Wellingtonness.

Duo's just making sure Heero feels loved. <3

I... don't think I have a stapler.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: November 5th, 2010 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I keep (allegedly) files for two crazy people; can't live without Croc. ^___^ And the staple remover is Jaws, of course.

*snort* As if Heero ever questions that. ^___~

sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: November 5th, 2010 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you think that's the actual reasoning that led to 'Tall Geese'? O_o
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: November 5th, 2010 04:16 am (UTC) (Link)
... ... ... OMGHAHAHAHA I didn't even think that!  Dangit, now I wanna go back and insert that in there somehow.  That would have been so much better than going off on fruity horses.  Hmmmmm, maybe Duo will have to think it up some other time. *snatches and runs away*
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: November 11th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Aw man... and here I was all proud of myself for getting it! :D
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: November 15th, 2010 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Look at it this way... you got something even I didn't get, and I wrote the darn thing. ^o^
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