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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 18 [novella] - the turnip patch
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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 18 [novella]
Title:  I Backward Cast My E'e
Part:  18

I Backward Cast My E'e
sequel-lite to for promis'd joy
Part 18


"Hm?"  He was too busy counting room numbers to answer properly.

"Did you catch sight of that other 'eco-friendly' hotel we passed on the way in?"

"The 'resort'-looking one?"

"Yeah.  That one looked super-swank, right?"

"Looked that way from the outside."

"And check this place out.  This place is pretty swanky, too."  Duo stopped briefly next to a window to read the discreet sticker in the corner proclaiming its energy efficient qualities.  "Looks shiny and new from the outside, but once you get inside, wow, this place is slick.  So can you imagine... how crazy-slick that other place must be?  I mean, not that I'm dissing your choice of accommodations here.  Just... crazy how high-end 'eco-friendly' has gotten."

"Want to switch jobs?"  He found their assigned room and slid the keycard through.

"Nah.  If you think about it, aerospace is all the same kind of principles.  We're both looking for alternate fuel sources to support a system sustainably, that kind of thing.  Insulation, lighter weight materials---"  Duo paused for a low whistle as he crossed the threshold into the room.  "Check this place out!  I don't know if it's just that everything's so shiny and new, or I just need to get out more.  Maybe both."

Heero shooed him out of the entry area and into the main area of the room so they could drop their bags at the foot of the bed.  "It's been a while?"

Duo laughed shortly.  "Man, I cannot even tell you when the last time I was in a hotel was.  Hell, I can't tell you the last time I was more than a couple hours away from home.  Howie's got a business to run, yanno?  And I'm not prone to just taking off.  Now how pathetic is it that I finally take a trip, and of all the places, this is where I always wanted to go?"

He seated himself at the foot of the bed while Duo went over to the window.  "Why here?"

Duo found himself distracted more by the multiple layers of curtains than the view outside, but awarded him with an answer, partnered with a shrug.  "There's nothing particularly special about this place.  People come out here all the time for weekend getaways or whatever, eat at the cute local eateries, enjoy a little of the country, buy some local wine, maybe.  I think there's a festival out here every year?  So... people consider this place a destination, and what with it being so close and all... it just seemed pretty pathetic that I'd never been."

"Has Howard?"

"Yeah, he said he came out here a couple times, way back when.  Before me.  Always figured it'd changed a lot, but... never really got motivated enough to come out and take a look."

"From here, the city's only another 40 minute drive."

"Yeah.  It's just a city, but... you know, I bet the Science Center would be a lot cooler if we weren't all old and smart now.  It's probably all going to be like stuff we learned years ago, but... still.  Always kind of wanted to go."  He went back to toying with the curtains while peeking out the window.  "You ever think about... hitting Japan one day?"

"Japan?" he asked, startled.  "I've... No, I don't really think about that."

Duo crossed the room to sit next to him.  "But... well, I guess it should be pretty obvious why I'd think you'd be interested?"

"Yes, but... it's strange."  He leaned back on his hands and stared at the nature-inspired print on the wall across from him.  "My connection to my mother was rooted deeply in the cultural heritage she shared with me, but she didn't speak very often about the place itself."

"You said her family there..."  Duo trailed off sensitively.

"She left them in Japan," he stated simply.  "If I went... it would be as a tourist, nothing more."

"We should go one day," Duo threw out casually, looking at a point on the wall remarkably similar to Heero's.  "As tourists.  We don't have to go anywhere where she was from or anything.  It's a big enough place.  I hear it's pretty neat.  And I'd get to hear you do your sexy Japanese purr all the time."  He tossed a sidelong wink in Heero's direction.  "That's reason enough right there."

Heero took a deep breath and let it out contemplatively.  "Maybe.  But we're barely even started on this vacation.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves here."

"I can have my feet planted in the now and have my eyes on the future," he retorted, turning to face his boyfriend with a grin.  He curled his feet up under him and leaned over into Heero's face.  "Now, how about a big kiss to keep me looking forward to tonight, hm?"

Heero held his ground, and even countered by bringing their noses almost in contact with each other.  "Tonight?  What happens tonight?"

"Don't play coy with me, Yuy.  I may not have been in an hotel for a while, but I was under the impression that two queen-sized beds were more common than one king-sized one."

Oh.  "Quatre booked the room," he breathed, suddenly distracted by their proximity.  "I'm sure he was... happy to make the assumption."

Duo smirked and managed to leave the impression of leaning in without actually closing the distance between them.  "Well, I'd hate to make an ass of him."

"Uh..."  Clever retort, clever retort... that was what he needed right now.  "They, uh, don't wash the sheets and towels every day unless requested.  Saves water."

"Yeah.  Door hang-tag, right?"  Duo tilted his head ever so slightly in the direction of the dresser, where the optional silent request for extra cleaning lay.  "Always wanted to use one of those."  Deciding that anything Heero might want to add to the conversation was extraneous and unnecessary, he took the kiss he'd been fishing for before bouncing back to his feet.  "Now, come along.  My stomach is insisting we go in search of a cute local eatery and find ourselves some lunch."

They were excited to find a pretty decent space exhibit at the Science Center the following afternoon.  None of the science was particularly new to them, but it was interesting to learn facts and see visuals.  Afterward, they stayed in the city for dinner, carefully selecting for themselves a place they'd never heard of, though they'd cheated and asked the hotel staff for recommendations.  After figuring out the details of ordering tapas, they sat back to review their day.

"You know what's weird?" Duo asked musingly, toying with the straw in his drink.


"When I was a kid... I never dreamed about being an astronaut or anything."

"What's so weird about that?"

"Never thought much about space, about the stars.  Not even all that into sci-fi or anything.  Wanted to build things, so I guess engineering was a shoo-in for me, but... suddenly one day, I'm listening to a lecture on it and bam, I'm thinking I could be exploring the final frontier."

"Never too late to dream."

Duo grinned.  "Who's dreaming?  I'm gonna do it.  Or at least, I'm gonna wait for some guys to get back to me to see if I qualify.  I should know in a few weeks if I at least scored an interview.  You, too, right?"

"It's about the same timeline.  I think it was off by a week or something, but yeah, more or less."

"We won't know the final results until after most people start looking for jobs, so I guess we should plan on looking, too, in case this doesn't pan out."

"Will you still be looking at aeronautics?"

"Maybe.  Maybe not.  I mean, it's not like there's tons of those places around, if you're not working with the government.  I've got a broad enough education that I could do a lot of different things.  Heh, before this popped up, one of the things I thought about, it was something I knew this one senior who went off to do.  He was a chemical engineer, and got a gig doing flammability testing.  I always thought that would be a cool job."

Heero snorted.  "You would.  You might have to cut your hair, though.  Can't have it catching on fire, too."

"Heh, okay, maybe not, then.  I haven't taken enough chem to make a convincing go at it, anyway.  How about green engineering?  That's a growing market, right?"

"Everything's going green these days.  I think that'd be a great field, if you're interested.  Where were you thinking of looking?"

"Well, I'm sure there are plenty of places more or less local.  Got a lot of industry in these parts, so it seems like there's no particular reason to go off searching the wild blue yonder."

Heero chuckled.  "This is only relevant, of course, if you don't get a job to search the wild black yonder."

Duo added the sound of his own amusement to the mix.  "Well... yeah, okay.  But I'd be searching the wild black yonder from the comfort of practically my own back yard.  Maybe I'd..."  He trailed off for a moment, then struck off in a tangential direction.  "...What about you?  If you don't get in..."

Heero shrugged easily.  "There's computer work everywhere.  No particular reason to go off into the wild blue yonder."

"Oh.  That's... good.  I mean... well."  He fiddled momentarily with the wrapper of his straw.  "I know we... I'm pretty sure we started this conversation already, but... I think we got interrupted before finishing it, and even though I'm pretty sure I know how it ends... I think I'd just like to... make sure?"

"Which conversation?"

"That... Well, whether or not we both get into our programs, it sounds like we're both planning on staying in the area, right?"


"And... um, well especially if we both get into our programs, but even if we don't, it doesn't seem unreasonable to do it anyway... to, uh... find a place together.  Yanno?"

If he'd had been looking at Heero at the time, he'd probably have seen a smile on Heero's lips, and Heero probably would have finished his sentence for him, except Duo seemed set on muddling on through with his head down, so Heero was happy to oblige.  Now that the ball was back in his court, however, he answered promptly to spare Duo the wait.  "Yeah, I... was hoping you'd see things that way."

He lifted his eyes and finally established contact.  "Yeah?"


"Oh.  Cool."  He blinked twice before breaking out into a quiet laugh that ended in an honest and much more relaxed grin.  "Cool."

Three days, two nights.  Heero had been a little worried that they wouldn't find enough to amuse themselves for the whole trip, but it had turned out quite alright.  With barely a week left of their winter recess, it was a pleasant memory to carry forward into their final semester of college.

Taking advantage of their last scrap of vacation, Heero went over to Trowa's house to hang out a bit more before they went their separate ways again.  They spoke of casual things at first, and then Trowa inquired as to the recent vacation.  Heero spoke positively of it, recounting some of the events and describing the places they had gone.

Given Trowa's next to last words to Heero regarding the trip beforehand, it was inevitable that he eventually ask, "So, did you score or what?"

Heero blinked at him a few times before shaking his head.  "Do you really need to know?"

Trowa placed his hand solemnly over his heart.  "Heero, as your best friend, it is my sacred duty to help you get laid.  I can't rest until that sacred duty has been discharged."

Heero made a fond, exasperated sound.  "We..."  He paused there, looking for words, pondering whether or not he wanted to find the words.  Trowa prodded him with a look, and he folded.  "We... definitely engaged in sexual activity."

"That means 'no', doesn't it?"

"It means... almost," he answered, tone bordering on defensive.

"There is no 'almost', Heero.  Why the hell not?"

"No reason, just..."  He looked away to some random point on the wall across from him, a vaguely nonplussed expression on his face.

Trowa snickered.  "Oh, there was so a reason."

Heero's expression turned quite miffed.  "Sort of.  Not really.  I mean... we almost."

"There is no--"

"We weren't... prepared!  Okay?  Geez."

Trowa stared at him.  "You didn't... neither of you thought to bring any supplies?  I even put it in your head ahead of time, and neither of you thought to bring any stuff?  You even said that was pretty much the only thing stopping you over New Year's, and neither of you thought?"  He reached over to punch Heero's arm in disapproval.

"What?  Hey, I was busy with all the other arrangements of the trip."

"It was barely more than a day trip, Heero, not a two-week vacation to Europe.  God, you're lame."

"What's with--"  He broke off and inspected Trowa's face closely.  "You've made the same mistake, haven't you?"

Trowa crossed his arms grumpily and did not bother to hide it.  "Yes."

"What's the big deal?  There's always next time, and it's not like we didn't, uh, well, do other stuff anyway, so..."  He trailed off again, viewed the entire situation from an angle he'd never considered before, and had the sort of sudden revelation he wished had come a while ago.  "I'm sorry, Trowa."

"What?"  Trowa looked blankly at him.  He was probably even better than Duo at reading Heero, but even his skills weren't perfect.

"I'm sorry... I don't think I've ever been sensitive to the fact that you're carrying on a long distance relationship with Quatre.  You've always seemed close enough, I guess I... just never really felt you were all that far apart.  I guess e-mails and IMs just aren't the same, though."

Trowa went for the casual shrug, but it didn't really work, so he went ahead and ran his hand irritably through his bangs.  "Yeah, not really the same."

"And I... practically live with Duo.  I'm sorry."

He snorted.  "What are you sorry for?  If you're with someone that makes you happy, that's great.  Go for it."

"But I don't have to tell you stories about it."

"Practically hiding it would just be stupid."

"Maybe."  Heero was quiet for a few seconds as he gathered data in his head.  "He had that internship last summer... You only really get out to visit each other maybe once every month?  Two?"

"Yeah.  And I'm glad for it, but... he's got a roommate, and I've got a roommate.  It's hard to really do more than just see each other.  Which makes that one time pretty annoying.  The stars are finally aligned, and we fail to capitalize on the opportunity.  Haven't really had the right opportunities since.  Doesn't help that Quatre's... only kind of out."

"He could visit you?"

"He has, once or twice.  But normally it's just easier if I go out to him.  It's a four hour trip.  I've got a little more time to make it than he does."

"How about a little vacation over spring break?  I can recommend a nice hotel, some cute local eateries.  As your best friend, I solemnly vow to pack your lube personally."

Trowa smiled briefly.  "Maybe.  We'll see what his schedule is like."  He rolled his eyes just a little.  "Well, it's just one more semester.  We've made it this far..."

"What are your plans after?  Finally going to move in with each other or what?"

"We... haven't outright talked about it yet."  His quiet sigh was glum.  "He's... got his eye on a few places, is preparing his resume and all that, but... Fortune 500 companies aren't everywhere, and Quatre aims high.  I can probably settle down anywhere he ends up, but... I want to be with him, wherever he is, because this long distance crap sucks, but... I also don't want to be someone who just ends up following him around, you know?"

Heero nodded in understanding.  "Quatre's going to be successful, but you will, too, Trowa.  You deserve that opportunity just as much as he does.  And if he ever thinks otherwise, I'm going to do my other sacred duty as your friend and beat some sense into him."

Trowa couldn't pull himself out of his internal pondering enough to summon a tangible sign of his appreciation.  "I like to think he needs me, but... it's kind of irrelevant."

"Have you considered mentioning this to him?"

"He'll still apply to the places he's applying to, and I'll still apply to the places I'm applying to.  Things start getting interesting once we hear back from those places and have to make decisions."

"Duo and I... like staying close to home, so... we've officially decided to co-habitate after school."

Trowa nodded approvingly, both in congratulations for the move and gratitude for not holding back on him.  "We should celebrate.  We should go to the drugstore."


"Yeah.  We have to buy you some stuff."

Heero rolled his eyes, but not without humor.  "We should buy you some stuff, too."

"And why the hell wouldn't you two have just gone out and bought some on your trip?  You had a second night to look forward to.  Unless your 'almost' was on the second night."

Heero blinked thoughtfully at him before shrugging.  "No, but... I guess I just follow Duo around on some things.  If he'd wanted to, sure, but he didn't make a move for it, so I didn't either.  I don't know if that was deliberate or not.  He seemed to enjoy the opportunity to, uh, be creative about doing without, but I'm not really sure if he was just putting it on or what.  Maybe he was just trying to stick to his previous resolution."  He shrugged again.  "Whatever.  Doesn't really matter in the end."

"Well, all the same..."  Trowa rolled off his bed and smoothly to his feet.  "Let's go make sure it doesn't happen again."

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8 comments or Leave a comment
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: March 1st, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awwww... Everyone should have a best buddy like that. ^____^ I notice, though, that Trowa never really answered Heero's question about talking to Quatre... If he's being all strong and silent, then Heero gets to take a stick to him. ^___^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 1st, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
They've been friends long enough to know when to let things drop... for now. ^_^ (wait, why am i making it sound like they'll be bringing it up again later?  i actually have no idea if i'm going anywhere with this. -_-)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: March 1st, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Um... Because characters have a way of making you write what they want? ^___~

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 1st, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
They're free to write their own darn stories and leave me out of it. =p I sort of can't wait to slog my way to the end of this cuz after this, no more of this chapter-by-chapter nonsense.  I sort of feel this fic has lost what little coherence it had.
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: March 2nd, 2010 02:02 am (UTC) (Link)
So... apparently, none of these guys were Boy Scouts? *grin*
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: March 2nd, 2010 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Sadly, the Boy Scouts would probably kick you out for even talking about such things. -_-
hostilecrayon From: hostilecrayon Date: April 4th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

fic - i backward cast my e'e part 18 [novella]

Oh man, what an awesomely awkward conversation for both Heero and Trowa! Now I'm slightly worried about what might happen with Quatre and Trowa. Update again soon!
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: April 5th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: fic - i backward cast my e'e part 18 [novella]

I'll update Plans... um... eventually. >_> I'll totally finish the story as soon as my Plans!mojo comes back from its vacation.  My writing brain has just wandered off into easier, less-thought-required pastures lately.  I'm sure it'll be back... soon...-ish.  Sooner, perhaps, now that it's received a poke.  It's been quiet in these GW hills lately!
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