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fic - the look [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
turnippatch
turnippatch
fic - the look [haven]
Title:  The Look
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  A number of interesting looks are exchanged.



The Look
A Moment of Haven


"This is boring."

"Duo, we haven't even gotten to our office yet."  They were currently traversing the bland passages of the Preventers building that was their branch office on the way to their own office, which was somewhat on the fringes of the regular agent offices since they weren't on the regular duty roster.

"Fine, 'is' in a past/non-past sort of way.  So 'is' and 'will be'."

"You were excited enough about it last week when we cracked a couple of cold cases."

"Yeah, but in case you didn't notice it, we only found the perp because the perp was on our list of dead.  Obviously he didn't need to be stopped from committing another crime because someone stopped him for us."  He paused in his complaining to smile and wave at one of the secretaries.

"We're solving crimes, Duo," Heero answered levelly, certain that Duo was just complaining for the sake of complaining.  Heero chided merely for the sake of chiding.  It was an effective system between the two of them, and had been for years.  "Not trying to win any glory."

"Didn't say that we were, buddy.  But it's still boring."

Perhaps Heero simply knew him too well, but he sensed some sort of ulterior motive for Duo stressing that point.  "Why do you insist?"

Duo shrugged and gave up the game as they stepped to the side to allow someone passage.  It seemed a lieutenant was late for a meeting somewhere.  "The way I figure it, I should have just jinxed our day.  Now that I've said that it's boring, something will happen today to make it not boring, and hopefully we'll have some great revelation today."

Heero mulled over the logic of that.  "But now that you've just explained it to me, doesn't it follow that nothing will happen since you said something would?"

"...Damn."

"Or how do you know that 'not boring' means something about our cases?  Maybe someone will spill scalding coffee all over your lap today."

"Coffee!"  Only a short distance from their office, Duo veered off the main hall and into a staff lounge.  "Morning coffee sounds good.  No, wait, not this lounge."  He spun around and would have run into Heero if not for a little neat sidestepping.  "Good stuff's in the other lounge."

Heero caught his sleeve as he went by and stopped him.  "We've already passed..."  He stopped mid-sentence, before Duo had even managed to whip out his puppy eyes and a pout, and sighed.  "Fine.  You get your coffee.  I'll get things started."

Flashing him a smile and striding off with a slight bounce to his step, Duo didn't feel at all bad about the arrangement.

Heero didn't bother watching him go.  Shaking his head only a little in a token sign of disapproval, he strode off towards their office, and where Duo wove his way smoothly in and out of traffic, people parted before Heero's path.  He simply emanated an air of purpose that they naturally responded to, even when he wasn't trying.

Once he had arrived at their office, he made his automatic examination of its state to make sure nothing had been tampered with in their absence.  Everything checked out, so he went ahead and booted up both of their computers, leaving his personal laptop on the table in its carrying case.  There was no need for it at the moment, but for sure at the end of the day, their data would be backed up onto his machine and they would bring some work home for perusal during their downtime, if they were so inclined.

He was reading through an office-wide memo on office supplies when Duo returned carrying two cups.  "You know I don't drink coffee, Duo."

Duo grinned and set one of the cups down on his desk.  "It's not coffee."

He eyed the cup's pale contents critically.  "I don't care how much milk you put in the coffee, it's still coffee."

Giving his chair a whirl, Duo settled into it with his steaming cup and a contented sigh.  "I didn't put any milk in no coffee.  I put a little coffee in your milk."

Heero Looked at him.  Duo Looked back, and apparently won since Heero picked up the cup, sniffed it cautiously, and took a sip.  He didn't hate all things coffee; in fact, if he had to choose an ice cream, he was inclined to select a coffee flavor.  He just wasn't too fond of a strong coffee taste.  His beverage fell within tolerance, and his silent concession passed with another small sip.

Duo swung his chair around towards his computer before he smirked in victory, but it was short-lived since Heero soon commented.  "So now that I've predicted coffee might spill into your lap, will it happen just in a fit of perversity to prove me right, or will it not happen now that I've called it?"

His head tilted left, then right, as he considered the matter.  "Dunno.  Depends how much the gods hate me today, I guess.  I'll just be extra careful with it, then, either way.  Maybe it'll spill on you."

Heero snorted lightly, returning his main focus to his computer.  With a few keystrokes, he started up the script to search their net for any new and relevant data that may have come in over the last twenty-four hours.  "A -- I'm not drinking coffee.  B -- Now that you've mentioned it, the opposite may happen.  Of course, now that I've brought that up, it may yet...  You know, I'm seeing a very large flaw in your logic."

Duo chuckled.  "Yeah.  And?  It's when your logical arguments start showing flaws that I'll really be worried."  Then he, too, turned to his workstation and started organizing things for the day.

A few minutes later, Heero's computer popped an alert up for him.  He read it through, clicked over to the relevant data window, and scanned it for the tagged information.  "We got a hit on the daily news," he informed his partner.  "For... working at Parson-Andersen Financial."

"Parson-Andersen Financial," Duo repeated to himself as he ran the name through their files and notes.  "There.  We traced a connection to them from the Veranti ring."

"Davis.  Ellison Davis.  Internal auditing.  Hinted in a statement yesterday that he might have something dirty to go public with."

Duo shook his head and rolled his chair over to sit beside Heero.  "Idiot.  Never, ever go public with that sort of crap until you're ready to take them all down."  They found a picture of Mr. Davis to go along with the article.  "Ah, a young guy.  Probably trying a little too hard to climb the corporate ladder."

They planned to visit the man at his office after they had finished checking the rest of the morning news, and so it was an hour and a half later that they were at a receptionist's desk at the lofty Parson-Andersen Financial building, dressed professionally, but not in their Preventers uniforms.

It was, quite naturally, Duo's job to do the talking.  "Excuse me, miss."  He wielded a charming smile on her.  "We're here to see Ellison Davis, please."

She failed to melt immediately, but they could tell she was starting to thaw already.  "Do you have an appointment?"

"Well, no."  Another innocent grin.  "But we just dropped by for a quick question.  Won't take but a minute.  Would that be alright?"

One vaguely flirtatious look later, and she relented.  "Let me buzz his secretary and see if he's available."  She picked up her phone and hit a button.  "Hello, Stacy?  Is Davis in?  There are a couple of gentlemen here that would like to speak with him."  She ran her eyes assessingly over Duo, and then Heero.

Heero made an attempt to look friendly, but didn't try too hard.  Such an appearance came unnaturally to him, after all, and it would look suspicious if he were visibly trying too hard.

"Uh-huh.  Oh, alright.  Thanks."  The receptionist hung up her phone and smiled apologetically at them.  "I'm sorry, it seems Mr. Davis called in sick today.  If you'll give me your names, I can have him contact you when he gets back in the office."

The two agents shared a communicative look.  "No, that's fine, thank you," Duo answered her.  "We'll just pop back in another time, then.  Maybe we'll be able to figure it out on our own.  Thanks for your help."  Another blinding smile covered their escape.

They waited until they were out of the building before they spoke again.  "Wasn't too sick to give that interview yesterday," Heero observed.

Duo made a derisive sound.  "Maybe he's hungover from celebrating his rise to stardom a little too hard last night."

"Maybe he's hiding from his bosses."

"Reconsidering his decision?  Too late for that.  You have his home address?"

"Aa."

"Then let's pay Mr. Davis a little visit, shall we?"



Duo let out a low whistle.  "Well, now we know why he wants a promotion.  A house like this must be a strain on his salary.  Who's he trying to impress?"

"Probably the whole damn world," Heero answered dryly.

The front walk was done with some nice decorative brickwork, and lined with some flowers that seemed to be fresh landscaping.  At least the home wasn't pretentious enough to have a double front door.  Duo caught Heero's hand before he could ring the doorbell.  "Wait."  He bent down and studied the knob.  "Door's been jimmied.  Professionally."

A tense look passed between them and they drew their guns as smoothly as if they did so every day.  Their skills had not deteriorated in the peacetime.  The gun's grip was not fitted to their hands from old familiarity, but its weight was a unfortunate comfort nevertheless.  Heero peered in briefly through the patterned glass to check that the coast was clear, then nodded to his partner.  Carefully, Duo opened the unlocked door, and they crept inside, covering each other as they entered.

The inside of the house didn't look as impressive as the outside.  Apparently, Mr. Davis had spent enough of his money on the home and its exterior that there wasn't much left for furniture.  It made it easier for them to clear the living room.  They were about to clear out a secondary room, probably a den, when they heard someone curse in the dining room.

With barely a nod at each other, they moved silently towards the doorway, sliding along the wall with their guns at the ready.  The rustling of paper reached their ears, and then a thump and a squeal of fright, like a man through a gag.  Heero signaled the countdown with his off hand.  Three, two, one...

They swung around the door with their guns tracking the threat in the room.  "Preventers!  Freeze!"

The assailant wasted no time in bolting out the other door in the room.  With a low growl of irritation, Heero gave chase, leaving Duo to cast a quick look at their victim.  Davis, blindfolded, bound, and gagged in a chair, looked to be in no immediate danger, and it was clear he wasn't going anywhere.  "Is he the only one?" Duo demanded of the man, tearing off the blindfold.  Upon receiving a wide-eyed nod, Duo took off after his partner, ignoring the man's muffled squeaks of protest.

The second door in the dining room led to the kitchen, and in the kitchen was a back door leading to the backyard, and this was where the shifty-looking man led the chase.  The backyard was not as well manicured as the front yard, but still Heero had to leap over a ditch and some shrubs as he ran after the man.  He was close to catching the man when the criminal hauled himself over a fence and into the neighbor's backyard, the hem of his pants just eluding Heero's grasp.

Having holstered his gun since he had no deadly intent, Heero vaulted smoothly over the fence and could easily have overtaken the perpetrator if the neighbor did not have a fierce looking golden retriever that seemed rather grumpy from having been disturbed in his basking.  The dog intercepted him, barking for all it was worth, but with a little fancy dodge and dance, he bypassed the obstacle and snagged the fleeing man as he tried to climb over another fence, this time hampered by the bushes that lined the partition.  Heero twisted his fingers into the back of the man's jacket and pulled, flinging the man off the fence and in the opposite direction from the dog.  Almost before he had hit the ground, Heero was on him, planting a knee in the middle of his back and restraining his arms by twisting them a little farther than strictly necessary.  The man struggled, but he was no match for a Gundam pilot.  Then again, who was?

Duo jogged up and assisted by cuffing the man.  After he was secured, Duo cast a questioning look at his partner.  Heero nodded reassuringly, then hauled the man to his feet.  He was of average build and height, with muddy brown hair and a nondescript face, perfect for someone in his profession.  A sign of his expertise was that he said nothing as he was manhandled.  His expression remained carefully blank, even when he attempted to pull free of his captors.  A sharp jerk from Heero brought him back in line.

"I called it in," Duo advised his partner, trying to shoo the curious canine away.  The dog's calls had decreased in frequency as the commotion settled down.

"Ah.  So that's where you were."  Heero's tone had the barest edge of humor, all he would allow while on duty.

Duo shrugged.  "I knew you'd get him.  Is this the part where we get to read him his rights?"

They could only assume so.  They'd read the handbook, but this was the first time they'd seen action in the field.  The administration generally frowned upon putting the two ex-pilots in potentially violent situations.

Heero shrugged back.  "Search him," he said before launching into the memorized litany.  "You are under arrest for attempted burglary, attempted evasion of arrest, and charges pending.  Under the jurisdiction of Earth Sphere United Nation Law, you have the right to remain silent..."

Since he was already half bent over trying to get the retriever out of the way, Duo went ahead and started at the man's left ankle and worked his way up.  A small knife strapped to his right calf was quickly discovered.  As he worked at removing the knife, the man's foot suddenly lashed out in a kick that would have landed soundly in the middle of Duo's chest had he not seen a tiny telltale twitch of the man's muscle.  His arms were in position to block and absorb most of the impact of the blow.

Attempting to take advantage of their distraction, the man twisted quickly to free himself of Heero's grasp, which might have worked had he been against someone other than Heero.  His actions ceased abruptly when he felt cold metal being pressed firmly into the soft flesh beneath his jaw.

"Don't do that," Heero suggested to him flatly.  The man complied.  Heero's gaze then twitched to where Duo sat back on the ground, rubbing at a spot on his chest with a frown.  "You okay?"

"Yeah.  He just nicked me."  He favored the man with a glare before getting back up to finish the job, this time planting his knees on the man's feet.

"He's got a knife strapped to his lower back, too."  Heero kept the gun in position, but removed his finger from the trigger.  If the man decided to try another break for it, he didn't want to unintentionally shoot him.

"I'm on it."

"I think we'll add assault on an officer of the law to his list of offenses."

Without further incident, the man was taken into custody and brought back to headquarters for questioning, and Ellison Davis was freed and detained for questioning as well.



Duo scowled into his empty cup.  It had held coffee at first, but it wasn't the nice coffee they had in that one lounge upstairs, so after that had been drained, he had went with water instead.  He wasn't particularly thirsty, but good lord, it was just about the only thing keeping him occupied during the 'interrogation'.  They certainly weren't getting anything out of their uncooperative prisoner.  He hadn't said a word since they'd found him rifling through Davis' paperwork, spread out over the two card tables that served as his dining table.  They'd tried threatening him with harsh sentences, making him deals, offering him protection from his bosses, but the man had stayed stubbornly silent, avoiding eye contact and jiggling his leg up and down or tapping his foot or drumming his fingers until Duo was about ready to scream, only it wasn't against any law for a prisoner to fidget, and hence he could do nothing about it.

Heero laid a hand on his shoulder.  "Why don't you two go talk to Agent Lamont, see if they've figured anything out from Davis?" he suggested, nodding his head towards the other agent in the room.  Once a solid lead had been confirmed and a man taken into custody, the matter was reclassified as a new case and handed over to another team of agents, one approved for field work.  Agents Yuy and Maxwell were retained as consultants due to their expertise in the background of the case, but they were discouraged from seeing any more action since their official assignment was data analysis.  As it was, they were already going to have to report to their commanding officer and convince him that they had gone out into the field with the intent to collect more data, not apprehend a criminal.

Hiding a sigh of both exasperation and relief, Duo looked at him, then pointed at their prisoner with his chin.  "What about him?"

"I'll keep an eye on him."

Duo looked at him suspiciously, trying to read his intent.  Heero had sounded perfectly innocent, with no innocent implication that he was planning something sinister.  Finally he shrugged.  "Fine."  He got up and turned to Agent Dresner.  "Come on."

They filed out of the room, but before they headed on over to where Davis was being questioned a few doors over, Duo stuck his head into the room on the other side of the one-way mirror.  He saw Heero take the chair he had been sitting in, turn it around, and straddle it.  One arm laid across the top of the back, the other was bent so he could rest his chin upon his fist.  Duo waited half a minute, wanting to see if Heero was planning something, but all he saw was his partner keeping an eye on their detainee.  He looked at Dresner, Dresner looked back him, and with a mutual shrug they went over to Davis' room.

When the two of them came back about twenty five minutes later, they once again headed to the observation room to see what was up.  Nothing was.  In fact, Heero didn't look like he had moved at all since they had left him.  True to his word, his eyes were fixed on the squirming man.  The perp's actions were even more fidgety now, his shoulders hunched, and once in a while he would sneak a glance at the silent man keeping him company, shiver almost violently, and then turn away again with increased agitation.  The two agents observed this for several minutes before it became clear that there was nothing to be gained, and then entered the room.

As soon as they opened the door, the man's head whipped around to look at them.  He jumped out of his seat almost spastically.  "I'll talk!"

Duo raised a surprised eyebrow at him.

"Anything you want!  Just-- just get him away from me!"

Duo's other eyebrow rose.  He left the near-babbling man to the other agent and walked over to Heero, who stayed in position long enough for the prisoner to look at him again, yelp, and scurry away into the corner as if he could hide from what seemed like the omniscient eye of God.  Finally, Heero shifted, stood, and blinked at his partner.

"What did you do to him?" Duo asked him quietly.  In the background, Agent Dresner was trying to calm the prisoner down and get him to confirm his desire to cooperate.

Heero shrugged.  "I kept an eye on him."

One long look netted his partner nothing specific.  Duo glanced over his shoulder at the shuddering man, then back again.  "Did you just stare at him until he broke?" he whispered incredulously.  Heero only blinked innocently at him, so he shook his head in resignation.  "Shit, Yuy, you and I are going to have a long talk when this day is over."

Heero shrugged again, this time with a slight smile.  "Tanomu," he murmured on his way out, taking a moment to look directly at the prisoner and smile in a friendly manner.  The prisoner wailed, just about ready to offer them his firstborn.

Duo couldn't resist staring bemusedly at his retreating back before grabbing the chair he had previously occupied and turning it back around again.  "Well, then.  Let's start with your name, shall we?"


------
'tanomu' means like, i'll leave it to you.

and while we don't doubt the power of heero's gaze, i'd just like to point out that the shifty little guy was one of those people that just truly cannot stand prolonged bouts of eye contact. ^_^





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