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fic - two doors down : 10 - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - two doors down : 10

Two Doors Down : 10


Duo moseyed on out to the curb to fetch his mail from the mail box.  He took his time with it, flipping idly through the circulars.  There was an envelope with no name on the return address, but it was printed and stamped as bulk.  He puffed up the envelope a little to peer in through the little plastic window and saw the name of a bank not his own.  Credit card offer, then.  Bah, just more trash.

A car drove down the street, and he glanced up to look at it, watched it as it drove down to the end of the block and made a left.  While his eyes were there, he noticed his neighbor across the street, one house to the right, in the yard gardening.  He hadn't noticed the guy when he'd pulled in.  Maybe he'd just come out from the back or something.

Duo looked down at the mail in his hand.  Back over to the guy.  Left and right down the street.  And then he crossed the street.  He hovered at the edge of the yard for a moment before calling out in greeting.  "Hi.  I don't think we've met.  I'm your neighbor, Duo.  From over there."  He waved his hand back toward his house.

The guy blinked up at him, two deep blue eyes below the brim of a floppy hat and above a pair of sunglasses that had slid down his nose.  "Oh.  Hello."  There was a pause as he pushed his sunglasses up with the back of his wrist, the gesture awkward with the gardening gloves on his hand.  "I'm Heero."

"Heero," Duo repeated, testing the feel of it.  "Nice to meet you.  If you don't mind my asking... What kind of plants are those?"

"Mexican sage."

"Are they drought-tolerant?  Not to sound judgey or anything.  You know, just thinking about planting some new stuff in my yard, too."

"Yes, they are, once established.  They smell nice, too."  Heero finished clearing his hole and reached for the new plant in its pot.

"Nice bonus."  He looked around the yard a little.  "These are all newer plants on this side... Are the ones over there old, or just plants you planted a while back?"

"They're old."  Heero massaged the pot to loosen it up a little before carefully extracting the sage.  He repeated the procedure on the dirt ball.  "I'll get to them."

"Hmm, maybe I'll do that for my yard, too.  Making one big epic go of it is a bit daunting."

Heero glanced up at him.  "I thought your place was a rental?"

"Ah, yeah, it is.  But what with the drought and all, my landlady -- Une?  Do you know her? -- she pretty much gave me permission to kill all of the plants.  I'm not too keen on staring at a bunch of dead plants all year or more, though, so she probably wouldn't mind me volunteering to replace some of them for her."

"Have you ever planted anything before?"

"Nope.  Hence, the daunting."

"It's not so bad, once you realize that it's really not that important.  I mean, if you kill the plant, you can just replace it easily enough.  It's not a big commitment."

"I'm not afraid of commitment."  Duo met his raised eyebrow with a slightly lopsided grin, followed by a somewhat thoughtful shrug.  "I may even be ready for some commitment."

Heero contemplated that statement while patting down the dirt around the plant.  "Well, they say being able to keep some plants alive is a good first start down that road."

He chuckled.  "Yep, they sure do.  You look pretty good at the commitment thing, if you don't mind my saying."

"Thank you.  The drought-tolerants do require a little more commitment, actually.  They aren't the kind of quick, showy plants you have to replant every year after they burn out.  It takes a year or two for them to get going properly, and then they stick around."

"Oh, really?  Heh, you could almost call them the growers and the showers."  The moment he said that, he sort of thought maybe he shouldn't have, but he was reassured by Heero's soft snort of amusement.  "Well, that's good to know ahead of time.  I'm not the biggest fan of surprises.  Or of quick, showy... plants.  That can't go the distance."  He told himself to stop while he was ahead.

Heero was silent for a few seconds before saying slowly, "You know that..."

"There's a whole bunch of people hiding inside my house right now, waiting to throw a surprise party for me?  Yeah.  I totally do."

"Ah.  Yeah.  I saw people going in there earlier with balloons and such."  An awkward pause.  "Happy birthday."

"Thanks."  Another short pause.  "Guess I've trolled them long enough, haven't I?  Thanks for the help."

"Sure.  I think I just saw the blinds twitch.  Again."

"Yeah, probably."  He shifted his weight, clearly not excited by the prospect of having a bunch of people yell 'surprise' in his face.  He'd warned them not to do it, and they hadn't listened.  "Hey, wanna come?  You're totally invited."

"What?  Oh, no, I wouldn't --"

"You sure?  It's my damn party.  Seems like there oughta be at least one person there that I actually invited myself."

"But they probably didn't --"

"What, like they're gonna say no to the birthday boy?  They can deal with it.  It'll be like my own little reverse surprise.  I wouldn't mind learning a little more about these plants of yours."

"My 'growers'?" Heero asked, brow raised archly.

"Heh, well... If you're offering."

There were a few long seconds of silent eye contact while they worked out what the heck page they were on and were they the same or not.  Heero looked away first.  "I need to finish up here while it's still light out," he said with an apologetic air.

"Oh!  Of course.  Yeah.  Don't worry about it."  He played it cool.  This was about par for the course for this day.  Bleh, one brief respite, and now on to that party that he really ought to be more appreciative of.

"But... maybe after?"

He had a little more trouble playing it cool this time.  His smile surely betrayed how pleased he was by the prospect.  "Sure!  Just drop on by if you feel like it!"




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Comments
sharona1x2 From: sharona1x2 Date: January 4th, 2016 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you found a way to make a story about gardening fun. I enjoyed how their talk was about gardening, but not really about gardening. I hope this will be one of Duo's best birthdays, ever.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: January 5th, 2016 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Nah, they were totally talking about gardening.  Right? ^^'

I'm envisioning that Duo's somewhat-annoying friends threw him a party, and then didn't really clean up all that much before leaving, but Heero volunteers to stick around to help him clean up a bit since he just lives across the street, no big deal, no trouble at all...
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