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fun-fact! - the turnip patch
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Fun is goofing off into the wee hours of the night in a way you haven't wee'd the hours for a long time, and then checking your voice mail and finding out you have to be at work the next morning at 11. x_x

Today's question comes from call_me_ishmael: In Axiomatic, Duo mentions he stayed with Hilde for a while after the war until he wore out his welcome. I'm curious what exactly happened there--was there a big falling-out or more a slow progression of not being welcome?

To digress a little first, I've never really pictured the Duo/Hilde relationship as being all that best-friendy.  Then again, I usually just forget about Hilde altogether for some reason.  I also usually forget that little scene we see at the end of EW, where Duo and Hilde are eating bao from some street-side cafe or something.  Wasn't that just an add-on when the OAVs became a movie, like the rest of the post-EW pilot snapshots, and not, technically speaking, original material?  Whatever.

So then all I'm left with is those few episodes where we saw Duo on L2 at the scrapyard with Hilde, which was a somewhat awkward set-up to begin with since it was really without explanation, and then when she suddenly showed up carrying information stolen from the Libra.  Not filling in the blanks at all, not thinking too hard about it beyond the surface, Hilde always struck me as somewhat conveniently infatuated or something with Duo.  I dunno.  I'm probably annoying all the Hilde-fans out there.  I'm not saying she doesn't have great potential to be a strong character.  Obviously one could easily believe she had strong convictions that caused her to leave OZ and infiltrate Libra and all that.  I'm not saying she did it because she had a crush on Duo.  I'm just saying that I've never really thought all that much about it.  What can I say?  I spend all of my energy contemplating Heero and Duo. *shrug*

I mean, the scene I always remember when I think about her is the one where, lessee if I can remember this right, Duo's on L2 and he gets approached by some of those White Fang people or something, whatever it was that puts him in a foul mood, and then Hilde just runs up, asks if there's anything she can do to help, Duo jokingly tells her to go home and make dinner or something, and then she chirps okay! and runs off to cook dinner. O_o I'm probably remembering that wrong.  But that's the weird impression I get of her.  I always remember her as an afterthought, and then I think oh she should have a place in this fic somewhere, and by then it's too late.  I do that with Noin a bit, too.

In Haven, I wrote an awful lot of it and then remembered Hilde.  So now, that means that Duo feels responsible for 'ruining her life'.  If it weren't for him, she wouldn't have had her convictions shaken (even if she came out stronger for it), she wouldn't have gotten in trouble with OZ (even if she chose that path herself), she wouldn't have been killed in that Zero-induced hallucination (even if it was just a hallucination), she wouldn't have gotten herself so banged up infiltrating Libra (even though she also chose to do that on her own).  Even when she showed up on Peacemillion, he was like, stupid girl!  Not in a Wufei way, of course.  Probably in a holding back his feelings kind of way, so he probably was concerned for her as a friend and stuff, but didn't he just kind of stand there frowning while she was wheeled away?  So justified or not, Duo happened to be conveniently whisked away by the government at the end of the war, so it wasn't like he was really in a position to keep in contact with her or anything, and then after that, he really thinks she's better off without him.  And that's Haven's take on it.

But finally to get back to the point, in Axiomatic, I propose that they were on better terms.  Duo didn't get conveniently whisked away in this series, and EW did happen, so that means they were eating bao and stuff together at that little cafe.  I think I implied that everyone sort of slipped away under the radar after the war.  I think Duo could have spent some of that time following up with Hilde since it probably would have taken her a bit of time to heal.  Then he said he travelled around a bit, hung out around L2 for a bit, hung out with Hilde and the Sweepers.

Being unspecific about how good of friends they really are (though i suppose i accidentally specified it by her being mentioned barely at all through axiomatic and additive), I think if Duo had been hanging around, he'd have been kind of loitering.  He was trying to find himself and wasn't doing a great job of it.  We know that.  Took him another five years after Heero coming back to finally start coming to terms with that, and even then, it took him a few more years to really deal with it once and for all.  I don't think he would have been as good at pretending in the beginning, though, or wouldn't have had as much need to pretend when it was early on.  I could see him loitering aimlessly, and Hilde just getting fed up with the way he didn't seem to be able to move on or something.  I don't think there would have been a big fight or anything, but I think there could have been some nagging in there, and then maybe Hilde started having her eye on someone else, though she probably had her eye on Duo for a little bit and that just didn't work out very well.  I think she wouldn't have kicked him out, but I think Duo would have sensed he was getting on her nerves and maybe getting in her way, so he'd have just cleared out.

But I also think he would have just shrugged and called it outstaying his welcome as an easy excuse that needs no real explanation, rather than him admitting that he wasn't getting anywhere there.  I think he was kind of aware of the fact that he wasn't really settling into a new life alongside her or anything, and aware of the fact that L2 is full of go-nowhere aimless loiterers and he's never thought of himself as one.  I think he'd push himself off, that that restlessness of his would have kicked in and made him leave.

That is all.

If you or someone you know would like to submit a question for a q&a funfact session, please do so in this post.

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luel_exana From: luel_exana Date: August 3rd, 2009 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I spend half of my time contemplating Duo, and as a result, this sometimes leads me to contemplating the people around him too. Recently this focus shifted to Hilde, because yeah, her relationship with Duo is somewhat nebulous...

Pardon me if this gets somewhat rambly. It's 4am, I'll do my best "coherent" impression. haha

The two things I understand about Hilde is that her world view is very black/white, and that she really, really wants to help people. Once Duo proved himself as "a good guy" in her world view, she adopted him as a moral compass. And once they came together (who knows how) to work in that scrap yard, she worked her butt off to be as useful to him as possible.

You're misremembering that scene with her. When she ran up to ask if she could help, and he jokingly told her to go make him a steak, she got offended because he was belittling her contributions. (And then Duo apologized, and told her she was doing plenty already.)

Later, when White Fang tried to recruit Duo as their poster-boy, Hilde got the tail-end of the discussion and wondered why Duo didn't just join up with them. They're fighting against OZ, so they must be the good guys, right? And that way Duo would finally get the help and appreciation he deserved, and he wouldn't have to fight alone anymore.
At that point Duo very deliberately took the apple from her hand, grabbed her by the shoulders, and explained why thinking White Fang were the good guys was a very, very bad thing. Hilde saw White Fang as good because not only were they against OZ, but they were potentially helpful to Duo as well. She had good intentions... just misguided ones. (Which explains how she ended up volunteering for OZ in the first place.)

Her sneaking into Libra to steal their data was just a natural progression of her wanting to help. And to a degree, I think she was tired of being Duo's-little-helper and wanted to be more like Duo himself: out there being useful in a more significant way. And she wanted Duo to take her seriously for once. If she stole the data, she could prove herself to him.

The fact that she put herself into danger like that and nearly got killed was an emotional punch to the gut for Duo though. HE was trying to keep her OUT of the battlefield after all. He sees her as someone he must protect, and therefore he can never truly rely on her. (Which gets to her too, because she WANTS him to rely on her more. She needs to be useful.)

Duo may have been just standing there when Hilde got wheeled into emergency care, but there was a lot boiling right under the surface. Blaming himself for letting her get hurt in the first place, mostly. And I don't think he let it go as easily as the series hand-waved over it. The tone of his voice as he addressed Heero was a dead-giveaway of his mental state. (At least, in the Japanese version it was.) I think the only time I heard Duo's voice be that deep and... focused, was when Trant was hallucinating Duo threatening to hit the self-destruct during the Deathscythe vs. Wing Zero battle.

In the long run, I agree with you that Duo and Hilde couldn't have kept living together. Duo never saw her as an equal, and kept all his emotional problems to himself. (As shown in Episode Zero when Sally comes to recruit Duo, and Hilde looks worried when she tells her he went out on a space walk again...) And Hilde eventually would have gotten fed up with him trying to protect her from the big, bad world and himself and never really letting her *in* to help him move forward with his life.

I can't actually see her kicking him out at any point, just because Hilde is so damned tenacious (though it could happen in the right circumstances.) In my head-cannon, Duo left for Preventers because it gave him a way out from dealing with his own problems, and concentrating on someone else's while feeling useful to the world in general. And yeah, had Preventers not come along, he would have just left on his own eventually too, and mostly for the reasons you talked about.
Hilde and Duo kind of fun to think about though. When Duo CAN pretend everything is ok in his head, they have a fantastic repertoire. haha

And this has gotten way too long now. Sorry. In-depth character analysis is close to my heart.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2009 12:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Now, I'm not saying you're wrong... but I'm not saying you're right, either. =) 'Cuz yeah, we all have our interpretations, and I can concede your point.

On the other hand, most of the incidents that you describe don't come off that way to me.  At least, not without a level of scrutiny that I am unwilling to wield at this time.

Like the thing with White Fang, and how she was hoping that they were 'good' guys that could help Duo out.  Well, regardless of what she did or didn't learn after Duo explained his take on things to her, she was at least naive or innocently idealistic or something to begin with.  I don't remember specifically that she wanted Duo to get the appreciation he deserved, but that could lead me to think that she thought that Duo was the greatest and everyone else should think so, too.

I could see her wanting to help Duo as much as possible for the same reason, that Duo was the dreamiest, and that she could have infiltrated Libra for the same reasons, that she had a crush on Duo and wanted him to notice her, and that she was tired of being Duo's little helper because she wanted him to see her as an equal and therefore worthy to like back.

I don't mean that she was really such a brainless ditz, because obviously brainless ditzes don't successfully infiltrate enemy strongholds and steal sensitive information without getting caught and becoming a damsel in distress (okay, she kind of did in the end, but at least she brought the fight to duo instead of forcing him to go to her. ^^)

But I think my ultimate, personal conclusion would have to be a mix of the two.  She can be a strong kickass character and still have a crush on Duo, same as Noin can still be a kickass character and still have a crush on Zechs, and Relena can be a strong-in-her-own-way character and still have a crush on Heero.  Heck, even Duo can be a super kickass character and still have a crush on Heero. <3

I... just think Hilde's got a more foolish crush than the others. ^^
luel_exana From: luel_exana Date: August 4th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Hilde is definitely naively idealistic, which is why Duo doesn't really want her to get involved. And that's partially why she ran off with him in the first place. (She totally bought at least part of his sappy speech on bringing people's smiles back. haha)

I never really got the impression that she though Duo was dreamy though, most probably because she makes that very statement about Trowa in his clown getup instead. >__>; And right in front of Duo no less, who rolls his eyes at her. I always got the impression that she was infatuated with Duo in the same way as a ten year old would be infatuated with Batman. (Duo can totally be Batman in this comparison.) She thinks he's cool, and would do stupid things for him, and would try to impress him, but not really in a romantic way... They're too much like siblings to me... But she totally thinks that Duo is the greatest and that everyone should think so too. :D;

And sure Hilde switched sides pretty quickly after she met Duo. But right before Duo blabbered sugar cane and cotton candy at her, her commanding officer shot at her. And then was unrepentant about the fact that she could have gotten killed.
If the organization you're fighting for is so quick to sacrifice you for its own good, that should send up some red flags. And yeah, she's a soldier, but really... Hilde's never been in a real fight. She doesn't have the cold mentality of a soldier. She needs to believe in what she's fighting for and CHOOSE to die for it. OZ just made the whole "dying" decision for her, which shook her up. And then Duo came showing more concern for her well being than OZ, and showing her that he CHOOSES to die for his cause, instead of being a casualty of friendly fire, and that gave her the final shove.

But that's just me.

The thing with Gundam Wing is that each character gets relatively little screen time, and so much just gets left open to interpretation. Really, I don't think anyone can be blatantly wrong with any hypothesis so long as they don't directly contradict canon. And no, crushes don't make you uncool. (Though I think Noin should really ditch Zechs, and hook up with Sally instead. Much better quality of character. haha)

And don't worry about "offending" me by disagreeing. I'm not a die-hard Hilde fan, I just like rummaging through people's brains. It's like playing Tetris with someone's mind. All the different interpretations are exactly why Gundam Wing is still interesting to me after so many years.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm.  Yeah, I buy the Batman thing.  I feel like there was definitely something starry-eyed about her reaction to Duo, but you're right that I wouldn't necessarily categorize it as a romantic kind of crush.

And I buy that her CO certainly turned on her quickly enough... but I'm anal enough about my characterizations that I would have liked to see something, a second-guessing glance over her shoulder or a quiver in her voice or a white-knuckled grip on her controls or some angry retort when Duo is being patronizing again.  (not saying they couldn't have happened off-screen... it's totally true that she was a side character that didn't get much screen time.)

She spews propaganda at Duo when they first meet, but I don't think that necessarily means she believes all of it.  She did have a bit of fire in her eyes, and her lines didn't seem like they had any undertones, but I could happily insert some in there if I wanted to, needed to in order to believe that she could flip over without much effort.  Mostly, I've really sort of reconciled her character with her actions and the consequences of her actions by thinking that perhaps she was a junior member of OZ, more like a propaganda recruit than a real enlisted soldier.  Like, as part of their positive PR campaign, OZ went around and convinced the young idealistic people to join their cause and then went around finding them social works projects or whatever to do.  And maybe gave them some training, because from the ranks of the youth army, they could have been trying to find some good, real recruits.  Because as friendly as OZ was being to the colonies, I don't see any reason for them to have gone recruiting among the colonies.  Why would they trust the colonies to that degree?  How many hoops did they make Trowa jump through, and that was even with Une backing him?  And also, if they did start a recruitment drive when they went up there and did Daybreak and the whole nine yards, there's no way Hilde would have had time to become a fully trained OZ elite soldier/pilot.

Honestly... I'm not really worried about being offensive by constantly inserting parentheticals and counters to my own arguments. ^^ Not that I want to offend you, but more importantly, I just want my arguments to be read correctly.  I'm more discussing possibilities than stating opinions.  That's all. ^_^
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 3rd, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I like Hilde well enough, but I do remember thinking that her original convictions got turned upside down awfully fast when confronted with a pretty face. "I know I've dedicated myself to the military, gone through basic and all that, signed lotta papers promising a lotta stuff, but... you think it was a bad idea, strange man I don't know from Adam? Ok then! Let's go!' o.O
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that a lot went on inside her head than we were shown... and I might even give her the benefit of the doubt in assuming that it wasn't Duo's face but the purity of his spirit that inspired her to switch sides... but that doesn't do much to excuse the quickness of that time. ^^ Sally and Noin, for instance, were given plenty of time to change their loyalties.  My memories are fuzzy, but I remember Hilde seeming pretty calm after she switched over to helping Duo, not like she was struggling through a side-switching decision.

But I do wonder how Duo ended up with her at the scrapyard.  Seems like he would have preferred to go it alone and leave others out of it...
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: August 5th, 2009 02:33 am (UTC) (Link)
You know, all this talk is making me want to watch the thing again. And take notes! ^o^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 5th, 2009 04:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Good. ^_^ I like inspiring thoughts like that.

(but personally, i'd stay away from it.  not only is it a time suck, but if i actually reviewed the facts, i wouldn't be allowed to make baseless claims anymore!)
call_me_ishmael From: call_me_ishmael Date: August 6th, 2009 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually did that. I'm almost all the way through, save Endless Waltz. It's time consuming, to say the least. >_< But very interesting, as I'd let fanon cloud my eyes for too long. I noticed a lot of neat little things that I didn't catch when I watched it oh so long ago.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 3rd, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hilde always seems like an extra plot device; something tossed in to make Duo not look quite so psychotic. The idealistic joining of the military and then tossing a career aside for that pretty face... Immaturity. Makes her look like a typical teenager. =p I have a hard time believing that OZ would trust a kid like that with a mobile suit. O_o

She just had so much "look at me!" going on that she annoyed me. I think she exasperated Duo too; he may have acted psycho (as did they all! ^___^) but there was planning behind his psycho-ness, not random attention-seeking.

Maybe I've just been around military females enough to know that Hilde was an afterthought? Or maybe it was the whole "Chester-ness" of Hilde's role.... >_>

And maybe I am just a shallow, grumpy Hilde-hater.... O_~

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)
This isn't quite the right comparison I want to make, but I've always thought Hilde wasn't a member of OZ so much as like a member of the OZ Youth Army, yanno?  Maybe the ROTC.  Aside from the fact that she had mobile suit training, it seemed like she was loitering around this recruitment center or space port or whatever it was she was doing, which didn't exactly seem like OZ elite work.  Maybe she just had a good aptitude for mobile suits.  Doesn't necessarily mean that she received a lot of elite training in it.

It would kind of explain why she bought into the propaganda, and also maybe why she broke free of it so easily?  Maybe she was toeing the line because joining up earned her family extra rations or something?  But then Duo came along and maybe she never really believed it to begin with, so she switched over?  Which, even if that's the case, I still would expect to see her struggle with that decision at least a little bit... Maybe she did off-screen, but anything offscreen is technically just made up, so I'm not going to take that into consideration until I have a reason to think more deeply about her.

I find Hilde most useful to me in AUs. ^^
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: August 4th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, I can see her as a ROTC. Maybe not one of the psycho, Animal House-types ones; more like one of the "keep an eye on that one..." types.

I think I've only really used her in one AU and I doubt anyone even noticed her. ^____^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 4th, 2009 03:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm, yanno, as a member of OZ Jr. or whatever, that would also explain to me why she was just let go instead of really facing court martial and being locked up...

While I do find it somewhat alarming that OZ wouldn't subsequently keep tabs on her for possibly being a collaborator, as proven by the fact that they had no idea she was shacked up with a Gundam pilot, one who was frequently receiving visits from White Fang terrorists... if she's as strong as I want to give her credit for, I don't think she would have made up some sort of an excuse about how Duo was forcing her into helping him or something.  Either there was a total lapse on the part of OZ, like they were holding her and during some attack she managed to slip away from them, or they totally didn't consider her a threat.  Or, I suppose, maybe the officers holding her were secretly sympathizers themselves or something.
call_me_ishmael From: call_me_ishmael Date: August 6th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for answering! I wanted to hurry up and tell you that before I forgot as I'm stupidly busy right now and don't have time for a proper reply. Hopefully I'll post one eventually.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: August 10th, 2009 12:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for playing with the turnip patch fun fact hotline. ^_^ (or perhaps it's a coldline since there is a considerable delay built into it...)

(apologies for the late acknowledgement. internet connection has been spotty.)
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