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fic - battlefield of the pacifist [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - battlefield of the pacifist [haven]
Title:  Battlefield of the Pacifist
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  In which Heero's over-protective tendencies seem almost tolerable.
Note:  I hate to join the chorus of complaints out there, but... tonight's fic was brought to you late because of gmail's new compose experience. -_- I really wouldn't have any real complaints about it, except that they broke the one thing that completely paralyzes me.  Now I have to ponder whether or not I want to pull my head out of the dirt enough to report it.  Never mind, apparently it's borked completely in Firefox, but mostly functional in Chrome.  I suppose it'll have to do.



Battlefield of the Pacifist
A Moment of Haven


"I don't trust him."

Relena took a deep breath, released it.  This was her first conversation of the morning, and this was not what she needed.  Perhaps later, she would appreciate the irony, but it would have to be after she'd had her tea.  "Oh?  Why not?"

"He's dangerous."

He certainly is, she thought, but definitely didn't say.  It would hardly help the situation, though in her experience, nothing really helped her in this kind of situation.  Only a certain patience and immoveability, which, once more with the irony, she had learned a good bit of from said dangerous character.  "Not to me."

He had the audacity to level a faint scowl at her.  She found it didn't affect her nearly as much as some other scowls could.  "You can't know that."

"Actually, I do know that."  She knew it like she knew the sun rose in the east.  She had always known it, even when she really couldn't have known it.  That bit may have only been good luck on her part.  And for some reason, she thought the only person she might admit that to was Duo.  Not too long ago, he might have been the last.

"We don't know what his background is."

"Noin vouched for him," she answered placidly.  "Just as she vouched for you."

"With all due respect--"

"And you wouldn't be head of my security team if Noin hadn't vouched for you."  Her placid tone was still in place, but was now imbued with a touch of her 'don't think I'll back down just because I'm a pacifist' steel.

He fell silent, but it was the silence of someone re-calculating his approach rather than his position.

She took advantage of the respite to continue looking over the plans he had brought her.  "The meeting with Cartwright was pushed back?  Good.  I won't have to rush off after breakfast, then."  She glanced over to him and saw his frown, and quite correctly surmised that he was less than pleased to be reminded of whom she was meeting for breakfast.  "I hardly think that I'll be taken hostage with a butter knife."

The frown deepened, but he didn't say anything.

While staring at the plans in her hand, she wondered what it was about Heero that made him seem so threatening.  It couldn't have been the non-friendly expressions, not if her chief of security had looked in a mirror lately.  Perhaps it was simply that he didn't know what side of the war Heero had been on.  Relena refused to tell him.  In the post-war era, she believed that all that should matter was that he was on the side of peace.

"What about Duo?" she asked curiously.

His response was immediate.  "I don't trust him, either."

Hm, and here she thought everyone liked Duo.  "Whyever not?"

"He waved at several of our cameras."

"What's so bad about that?"

"They were hidden cameras."

Hardly surprising, really.  She tried to remember whether or not she'd ever spoken to the two of them about the cameras watching the corridors, but decided it didn't matter at all.  With or without foreknowledge, they probably would have been able to pick them out anyway.  "Maybe he just thought he'd liven things up a bit for the people in the security room.  I'm sure it's not very fun, watching the monitors when there's nothing going on."

"It's not their job to have fun."

"Well, I didn't say it was."  She recalled that they had worked a few security consulting jobs a couple of years ago.  For a moment, she toyed with the idea of retaining them to identify flaws in the palace's security, but it was a very brief and fleeting moment.  It would probably have the exact opposite effect of reassuring Heero that she was safe and secure.  No, it was certainly best not to encourage him and his over-protective tendencies.  "In any case, they're my friends, and while they're here, you will treat them as such."

"Of course, Miss Peacecraft."

Heero would never address her with such formality, she thought suddenly.  He could be just as grumpy when discussing her security arrangements, but he would never call her 'Miss Peacecraft'.  He would never make it sound like this was just a job, one he took too seriously, and it wasn't just because of his blatant disregard for proper manners and protocol.

"They are also my friends when we're in Brussels," she added, recognizing the obvious loophole she'd left in her previous statement.

The man showed signs of being displeased by the addendum.  "There are reporters all over Brussels."

"Indeed there are," she responded cautiously, not yet seeing the point of that observation.

"And some of them are... paparazzi."  He kept his sneer to a socially-acceptable minimum.

Oh dear, she wanted Heero to meet the paparazzi even less than she wanted him to meet her chief of security.  But that was probably not the man's concern.  "I trust you to protect me from the more aggressive ones."

"I cannot protect you from the kind of damage they can do with a telephoto lens.  I'm quite certain they could find ways to twist the visits of your 'friends' into something sensationalist."

She wanted to be offended, but knew it wouldn't be fair.  "They visit me at the embassy, and there are plenty of reasons why two young men -- citizens of Sanq, I might add -- might visit Sanq's embassy.  And if we have paparazzi within the confines of the embassy, then you aren't doing your job properly.  I would love to be able to go out with them sometimes, but I don't.  I understand that that wouldn't be nearly as simple as it sounds."  She let a little bit of the steel back into her voice.  "However, I would no sooner live my life in fear of what the paparazzi might say of me than I would capitulate to threats made with military force."



"Heero, you'd let me hang out with anyone I wanted, right?"

He pinned her with a steady look while he finished chewing on his toast.  He took his time about it.  "Define 'anyone'."

"Anyone," she answered airily.  "But in particular, people you don't especially like."

He didn't think he liked where this was going.  "Why don't I like them?"

"For the usual reasons you don't like people!"  She was not as patient at this game as Duo usually was.  Duo better understood the nature of his prey, and was willing to stalk his answers for as long as it took.  And perhaps even toy with them a bit in the process.

"I haven't gotten as far as I have in life by not listening to my gut feelings."

That was not the answer she was looking for.  "What if you just think they're the wrong sort?  Nothing terrible, just a natural dislike of strangers.  And you're wrong, by the way."

"...You are asking me a hypothetical with some sort of point, but you aren't going to tell me what that point is."

"Yes."

He looked over to Duo to see if there was a hint lurking in his expression anywhere, but Duo had decided to stay carefully neutral on this one.  Aside from the poorly suppressed smirk of amusement as he popped berries into his mouth in lieu of popcorn, of course.  Heero sighed imperceptibly and considered his answer.  He didn't like not knowing what the right answer was, especially when he thought it might be used against him.  "I would let you hang out with anyone you wanted."

"Really?"

Her obviously surprised and cautiously joyful expression did not sway him.  "Yes.  I just wouldn't let you be alone with whomever you wanted."

The half-smile transformed into a pout pretty quickly.  "Hmpf."

Duo took pity on her, but maintained his neutrality.  "It's better than nothing, Princess."

She paid him no heed.  "You don't trust my judgment?"

Heero met her accusing gaze levelly.  "I trust your judgment.  I just don't trust them."

It only took her a moment to regroup.  "But what if I judge them to be trustworthy?"

Duo snickered.  "Yeah, babe, what then?"

Heero contemplated the answer while contemplating his glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.  "I trust your judgment.  That doesn't mean I think you're always right."

She didn't appear to know how she wanted to take that.  Duo helped her along.  "That's a good thing, Lena."

"Is it?"

"Yeah."  He leaned back comfortably in his chair.  "You've got enough groupies, don't you?  You don't need another one.  Heero here'll tell it to you straight, like no one else can.  Unless, of course, he thinks you're beneath his notice, in which case he'll just blow you off, or he thinks you're not strong enough to take it, but obviously he thinks you are, so... Yeah.  It's a good thing."

Heero stared blinkingly at him.

Duo answered with an oddly self-conscious shrug and an awkward smile before finding something else to say to break the moment.  "He wouldn't bother challenging you if he didn't think there was any point."

Relena, not well-versed in their modes of silent communication, took her time in pondering Duo's words.  "So... you mean I could actually convince you you were wrong, Heero?"

"No."  He got a light kick on the side of his shoe and shot Duo a mild scowl.  "You could convince me that this 'anyone' of yours is trustworthy.  There would be a lot of obstacles for him to overcome, but it's not an impossible task.  But I'm not wrong to not simply take your word for it."

She allowed her lips to purse in an un-ladylike way.  "Would you let Duo hang out with anyone he wanted to?  By himself?"

Heero paused in the manner of someone finding himself suddenly in the middle of a minefield.  His eyes slid over to Duo, who was clearly laughing inside and yet also quite keen to hear the answer.  "While I trust Duo's judgment... and his ability to protect himself in case these people turn out to be dangerous..."  He stopped for a triple-check of his chosen words.  "I know that... if he really did trust these people, and then they turned out not to be trustworthy, then... he might need someone at his back."

Relena puzzled over the implications there, but Duo picked up on them without any difficulty.  He grimaced.  "You know me too well," he said softly.  Then he turned to Relena and changed the tone.  "Isn't it adorable that he doesn't even try to avoid the question?"

Heero looked at him like he didn't understand why someone would try to do that.

Duo smiled affectionately at him before wiping it off his face and switching his attention back to Relena.  "So, you know... Heero's a bit obsessive about your physical safety, sure, but it's not like he's really going overboard, across the board.  Seems like a pretty good deal to me, don't you think?"

If she needed any more proof that Duo understood Heero better than she ever could, she was getting it now.  She looked back and forth between the two of them before sighing with an undertone of contentment.  It was nice being with people that cared, with whom one could have a comfortable, open conversation.  It made their over-protective tendencies almost tolerable.  "I suppose so."

Duo licked a bit of berry juice off his finger.  It seemed the better option, compared to dirtying up the nice cloth napkins.  "So... Who aren't you allowed to hang out with?"

"You."

"Whaaaaa~t?!"





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Comments
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: March 30th, 2013 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
New fic! Clever use of title, by the way! :) I do so love your chess match dialogue... there are always so many layers.
I saw the Gmail note the other day, but haven't tried it yet... now I'm scared...
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 30th, 2013 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I certainly wasn't good enough for that to be the first title I came up with, though. ^^

Nah, the new compose isn't completely intolerable or anything. Granted, I have a high tolerance for things. But what was killing me was the fact that tabs, as in the whitespace character, seem to be dysfunctional now, seemingly as a byproduct of the fancy-schmancy html5 or whatever they're using to make their fancy compose window these days. It's no surprise that whitespace characters don't get along the best with html. It used to just be a simple text box.

In any case, it's only a problem for me because I write fic in that compose window, fic with tabs, and the new compose window basically borks all of that. So after some trouble shooting, I've figured out that as long as I compose in rich text in chrome, everything will work out fine. As long as I get past the hurdle of converting my existing fic into rich text without losing all the formatting. After that, it won't make any impact on my MO. It's just more annoying in a philosophical sense.
issen4 From: issen4 Date: March 30th, 2013 05:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I miss your Haven fics so much, and this was particularly delightful.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 30th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
My goal is to write something at least once a month... But given that I didn't manage this until almost the last day of the month... ^^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: March 31st, 2013 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooooh...! Response to *that* little surprize?

I have missed Haven, but... well, those who are years behind in updates should not nag at other people. O.o Right?

What a delightful horse antidote. ^____^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 31st, 2013 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I cut off the conversation before she could mention that her chief of security had implied the tabloids might see her as in a threesome with them. =D

I miss Haven, too, sometimes. =p I'm supposed to be better this year, but I'm not making it an official goal.  If I do, I'll probably miss it. -_-
ramenkuri From: ramenkuri Date: April 6th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Adorable all around! Duo is obligated to wave at hidden cameras.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: April 7th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't imagine Duo making a visit to the Royal Palace of Sanq and not doing something cheeky within its confines. =D
jmchau From: jmchau Date: April 20th, 2013 01:42 am (UTC) (Link)
One of my favorite series, so glad you are keeping on.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: April 21st, 2013 04:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm doing my best!
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