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fic - holes [haven] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - holes [haven]
Title:  Holes
Series:  Moments of Haven
Summary:  Digging holes isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.
Note:  Wherein we make use of merula31's 'mug'.

A Moment of Haven

Duo slipped off his sandals before going into the kitchen through the back door.  "That dirt..."  He paused for dramatic effect.  "...is hard as fuck."

It took a moment for Heero to pull himself out of the article comparing the merits and applications of various lemon species.  "Do I want to know how hard a fuck is?"

A snicker at this point was only natural as Duo shuffled across the floor and leaned over to unfurl a lazy smirk right in front of Heero's face.  "That depends... how hard do you want it?"

Heero toyed with the end of the braid that had slipped over Duo's shoulder, pondering his response for just a few seconds before pulling Duo in for a kiss he felt amply demonstrated what he wanted to convey.

Duo's smirk came back just as soon as it was able, a bit less lazy this time around.  He twisted it into an exaggeratedly measuring look before grinning.  "Yeah, okay, I'm pretty sure that can be arranged."  He stole one more quick kiss before straightening and hiking his thumb over his shoulder in the direction of the yard.  "But I'm pretty sure the dirt out back was harder."

Leaning back in his seat at the kitchen table, Heero looked his partner over head to toe.  "So... all that flexing of your manly muscles earlier was just for show?"

"Well, yeah," he answered with a wink.  "Wasn't that kind of me?  Giving you just cause to ogle me and all."

"Can you really imagine me 'ogling' you, Maxwell?"

He tried to picture Heero with a leer, eyebrows wagging suggestively.  "No.  Not really.  But I did catch your eye, at least, even if you weren't ogling."

"Spare me the posing next time, and I'll be able to eye you without being embarrassed for you at the same time."

"Pbfft.  Are you saying you don't love me for my body?"


"And, uh, you don't love me for my ability to dig holes, right?"

"I generally admire your ability to dig a hole for yourself, but no, I don't love you for it."

"Okay, now you definitely have to go out there and try your hand at that dirt, 'cuz obviously the effort killed some of my brain cells or something.  You're totally kicking my ass here."

Heero got out of his chair and pecked him on the cheek on the way to the fridge.  He pulled out the mug of lemon iced tea he'd put inside earlier and handed it over.  "Here, see if this will cool off your processors any, and then you can show me this dirt of yours."

Duo made a sound of satisfaction as he held the chilled ceramic scant millimeters from his cheek.  "You're the best.  Come on."  He led the way outside to the spot of dirt he'd staked out earlier and pointed accusingly at the ground.  It showed signs of having been disturbed, but it went no farther than a small divot perhaps six centimeters deep.  "Check that out."

Taking up the shovel, Heero prodded the dirt experimentally before jabbing sharply at it.  He succeeded in moving a little bit of dust around.  Shifting his grip on the shovel, he raised his hands overhead before smashing the pointed spade into the small depression.  The tip penetrated a whole centimeter into the ground.  He stared at it, a bit nonplussed.  "Hm.  Maybe that's why we don't get many weeds back here."

Duo snorted.  "So in the battle of dirt versus pilot... it seems we're oh-for-two here."

"A pickaxe might do the trick."  He exerted the infinitesimal force needed to extract his shovel from the ground and poked at it again.

"Yeah, I thought about that... but even if we did finally manage to dig a hole big enough for Henry... I can't imagine his roots would get very far in that crap.  Might as well just keep him in his pot in that case.  It'd probably be kinder than mocking him with what he can't have."

"I have noticed... all those sites we've been visiting always talk about 'soil'."

"I don't think we have 'soil', let alone 'loam', like some sites I've seen talking about.  I had to look up what loam was, for chrissakes."

"Do you think this is 'sandy' or 'clay'?"

"Is there such a thing as 'rock-like'?"

"I'm not even going to take a guess on whether it's acidic or not."

"Think we're just screwed?"

Heero studied the earth for a moment.  "What if we watered it?  Maybe that'll make it easier."  He went inside and came back out with a cup of water.  After clearing what loose dirt he could from their little dent in the ground, he knelt and carefully poured some water in to fill it.  He waited patiently for the water to soak in so he could apply some more.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

"You think that's what they call 'bad drainage'?"

Heero made a sound of agreement and stood.  "This may require some more research."

Duo sighed as they headed back inside.  "I sort of thought we'd be able to get a little farther than this before running into trouble."

"It isn't trouble until we find out that there's nothing we can do about it."

"Okay, fine."  He plopped down next to Heero at the kitchen table and looked at what was still sitting on the laptop's screen.  "Wanna grow a lemon tree?"

Heero shrugged, tapping his finger against the mug Duo had set down on the table.  "We use lemons."  He took the opportunity to sample the iced tea he had so generously prepared for his partner.

"That we do.  Well, we'll see.  You wanna do the honors?" he asked, stealing his drink back.  "I've found that search engines don't really respond well to swear words."

"You don't say."  Heero drummed his fingers over the keyboard lightly as he considered possible search terms.  He decided to try the obvious first.

Duo watched as the engine tried to auto-complete the phrase for them.  "'Hard dirty'...?  You really going to go with 'hard dirt'?  We're going to end up with all these porn sites or something."

Heero shrugged and pressed enter.  "What's life without a little adventure?"

Duo chuckled.  "Hey, what do you know?  That actually kind of worked."

Skimming over the article listings quickly, he selected a Q&A site with the topic 'My whole backyard is very hard dirt!' to start with.  From there, he picked up some alternate search terms and ended up at 'How to fix compacted soil'.  A few page-downs later, and he had a short summary of steps.  "Soil additives and machinery."

Duo hit the page-up and pointed back to an earlier sentence.  "Plants with strong roots.  Those sound kind of awesome.  We should find some of those.  Could save us a lot of trouble if we just plant things that don't mind compacted soil.  Though I'm gonna bet they're only really weird plants we aren't interested in planting."  He scrolled to the bottom of the article to see if there were any links that conveniently pointed him to a list, but found something else instead.

"We are not getting pigs, Duo."  As a punishment, he took another swallow of Duo's drink.

Duo elbowed him, and after the mug was set back on the surface of the table, he reclaimed it.  "Of course not.  But when you find a link that says 'How to till soil with pigs', come on, you gotta click it.  Oh, look at that pig.  He actually looks kind of cute.  Hm, two pot-bellied pigs can till up a nine square meter area in about a month.  Man, whose idea was this?  That would take forever."

"'Step six: Wait,'" Heero read.

"'Step ten: Reward your pigs.'  Aww, that's kind of cute.  In a 'I'm still totally not waiting that long' kind of way."

Heero glanced in the direction of their proto-hole.  "I wonder if the water's soaked in yet."

"It'd probably take as long as the pigs if you wanted to water the whole damn thing before digging.  Let's go with machinery.  I like machinery."  He commandeered the laptop for links to rototillers.

Heero let him do as he pleased, gaze wandering back to the yard again.  He laughed softly.  "Pigs?"

Grinning, Duo bumped shoulders with him, though he kept his focus on what he was doing.  "My mental images of that are probably more amusing than yours, but yeah, right?  'What's life without a little adventure,' you said?"

"A 'little' adventure, I said.  I have a feeling pigs would be a pretty big adventure."

Duo paused for a moment to stare off into middle space.  "What would we do with the pigs when they were done tilling the yard?  Eat them?  That'd be a terrible way to reward your pigs!"

"I think I've said this before, Duo.  I'm all for growing our own food, but I absolutely draw the line at raising our own livestock."

"Yeah, don't worry, I'm totally on board with you on that one.  Wait.  Would eating our veggies be like... eating Henry?"

"I think I've also said something before about not naming the plants."

"But I can talk to them, right?  I mean, plants are supposed to respond well to talking."

Heero shook his head fondly.  "As long as you don't address them by name, I guess you can talk to them."  Since Duo was distracted and the path was clear, he reached over again to sneak a sip of the iced tea.  The mug was halfway to his lips when he realized it was empty.  He stood and went to the refrigerator for a refill.

Duo suppressed a smile behind his back.  "You could just get your own cup, you know."

He shrugged, putting the pitcher back and shutting the door behind him.  "But this way, it's like researching and kissing at the same time."

Oh, sweet efficiency.  Duo rolled his eyes.  "Small hole in your theory, babe.  Wrong side of the cup.  I've been using my left hand."

He blinked at the mug before turning it around.  "Alright, so it's been like researching and sharing germs at the same time."


Meeting Duo's eyes over the rim, he put his lips where Duo's had been and sipped.

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25 comments or Leave a comment
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: May 18th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
That about sums up the yard around my place. Next door neighbor got the plot with all the good soil :( Our plot, you can dig a few feet before hitting solid rock or something.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 18th, 2010 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
It about sums up the dirt in my yard, too.  I've mounted a campaign to slowly revivify it.  There is one good thing about it, though.  Since the soil's so dead, I don't have lots of bugs or anything.  My plants get by, but there's certainly no thriving ecosystem going on in that dirt. =D
yira_heerai From: yira_heerai Date: May 18th, 2010 06:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Sadly not the case here. We have ants galore. My kingdom for a pet horned lizard :( Or three. Plenty of weeds and cacti too. Grass and the trees just don't do well at all. I think we just have more bedrock and whatnot than the next acre over.

Either that or we're just a family of black thumbs instead of green.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 18th, 2010 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I have crickets.  I freaked out the first time I found one of those jumpy things in my house, but now I'm a cricket-catching pro. =p Sometimes I wish I had something to feed them to, instead of throwing them back into the wild.

Luckily for me, I'm completely anti-grass.  Natives do quite fine in poor soil and drought, and don't demand that I mow them every week.  It's just the digging of holes to plant the natives in that's the hard part.

I get weeds after it rains... if I leave them alone for long enough, they become impossible to dig out of the dirt.  But then if I really leave them alone long enough and there's no more rain, they eventually die because they're growing in dirt that turned back into something rock-like. ^^''
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 18th, 2010 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. Machinery always gets Duo's attention. ^___^ Although... I find myself hoping they don't hurt anything when they finally get down to the machinery part. O_O I've seen the mayhem a rototiller can cause.

I'm picturing that mug as one of those really large things, although it probably isn't. ^____^ The better to hold lemon tea and kisses.

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 18th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
The boys aren't stupid when it comes to machinery.  Heck, I think they even managed to sand down their wood floors without any trouble.  They can handle anything!

I'm picturing that mug is... exactly as big as it needs to be for it to have been full at the beginning and then empty by the time it was empty. ^^' I wasn't counting swallows, and I was hoping no one else was, too!
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 18th, 2010 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
It also occurred to me about five seconds after I hit 'post' that any sort of garden machinery is likely to attract every male in the neighborhood. You know, to offer "advice" to "the kids". ^___^ Might even attract Old Man Keller. *snork!*

I have a 44oz coffee mug; it's my standard for everything else. ^____^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 18th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I usually just get people slowing down as they drive by to stare at us.  But no one ever giving us actual attention.  Of course, that may just be because I'm not particularly neighborly.  I even go out of my way to pretend I don't see my old lady neighbor sometimes. >_>'

Boys are in luck, anyway.  They'll be in the backyard. =) ... Although now that you mention it, their front yard could probably use some work, too.  But I think I'm just going to pretend that's not true. ^^'
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 18th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or just that they don't plan to do their lounging and nude sunbathing in the front yard, so it's not as pressing. ^___^

Maybe an 'are you crazy?!' visit from Suzuhara? O_o To be assured that there will be no impromptu amputations. ^___^

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 19th, 2010 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)
But 'not as pressing' implies that I should take care of it at some point... and after writing up a 'backyard' arc, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be writing a 'front yard' arc. o_O I should probably figure out what they're going to be doing next, job-wise... That's gonna have to be of interest to them soon.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 19th, 2010 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Is the property fenced? ^_~ They could consider a trellis-sort of thing at the front, both to hide the uncivilized front yard and to add some greenery.

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 19th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm told that fencing your front yard is unneighborly.  They probably just have scrubby grass and a walkway or something.  Maybe some bushes on the perimeter.  I'm trying not to have them end up with my own yard. ^^' It'd be an odd self-insert, plus I'm trying to steer them away from 'natives' since I don't really know where they're located, and therefore I can't really pin down what a 'native' to the area would be.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 19th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Really? The pendulum has swung then. ^___^

I wasn't really thinking of a fully fenced front, just a few strategically-placed trellis that could harbor some climbing greenery. Like camouflage for the nothing-done-to-front-yard until they choose to do something to it. I pass a house on the way to the laundromat that has such things. I think in their case it may be so that passers-by can't look directly into the huge picture window, but it's blooming right now with something pink and yellow and it's very pretty. ^____^

Aren't some plants 'native' to several areas? We already know it doesn't snow where they are and they aren't awfully far from the ocean... O.o

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 21st, 2010 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm, they could... just throw a bunch of wildflower seeds over the yard from some mix and therefore not know have any definitively named species out there? ^^'
_x_rae_x_ From: _x_rae_x_ Date: May 31st, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now you have me thinking they live in Florida, with the description of no snow and not too far from the ocean. While it may apply to many states, I guess I just want them to to live in the same state that I do, lol.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: May 31st, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. ^___^ I trust Heero not to locate them somewhere that they would have to evacuate from hurricanes every so often. *snork!*

_x_rae_x_ From: _x_rae_x_ Date: June 1st, 2010 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Lol. It's mostly crying wolf where I live. When I was in high school, we got hurricane days. It was mostly just rainy. I can say that in almost 7 years in this state, I haven't been adversely affected by hurricanes, and I live on the gulf coast.
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 1st, 2010 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)
This is also true. The three hurricanes I sat through were mostly smoke and mirrors. ^___^

merula31 From: merula31 Date: May 18th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
You did a great job with a lame prompt! Thank you so much! Sharing mugs is sweet- and means less dishes to wash too- always a plus!

I never knew you could use pigs to till dirt! That's kind of a cool idea. Though the rototiller can be a lot of fun.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 18th, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Heero was about to point out that it meant fewer dishes to wash, too, except that was possibly even less romantic than 'sharing germs'. ^o^ Besides, they like washing dishes together!

I don't think you really can use pigs to till dirt... O_o I mean, the internet claimed you could, but I can't see the pigs rooting as deep as a tiller can, especially if the dirt is really packed.

(for those of you playing at home, i really do just do the internet searches the boys are doing, and write based on what comes up... in this case, pigs came up. *shrug* i make no claims as to the accuracy of their search results.)
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: May 19th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to join the 'me too' packed earth yard club (PEYC). Machinery is a good thing... just don't loan it out. >_>
You did a wonderful job with the mug prompt, worked it right in there and made it cute as hell! ^______^
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 19th, 2010 01:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure yet whether they have enough dirt to till to justify them buying their own tiller, or if they would rent... but if they rented, they'd have to do everything all in one day, and fic-wise, I'm not sure that's convenient for me!

Is this where I admit I just started writing the piece with no mugs in mind?  Heero got Duo a glass of lemon iced tea... and then I was like, hmmmmm.... a glass mug of lemon iced tea. >_> *sneaky look* And then I just finished up with an eye on that mug, found a way to bring things back to it by the end. ^^'
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: May 20th, 2010 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, one of the neighbors could maybe own a tiller. ^_____^
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 21st, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm all for machinery given that I grew up arournd tractors ect. Digging post holes is the worst. And the effort we put into regrassing our backyard. We'd put the sprinklers on the night before (or wait until it rained) and then we'd all be out with the matick, crowbar, and pitchforks in order to turn the soil. Seriously would've been much easier if dad just ran the scarifyer through.

Very cute chapter! I liked the argument that Duo lost. *grin*.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: May 22nd, 2010 05:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm under the impression that holes can be conquered with large augers. =) Provided you have one, of course.  I'd go trying to keep my dirt as loose and fluffy as I could manage all the time, except I always have to keep things covered as much as possible so the yard doesn't turn into a giant litter box. =p

All that hard work kills the bantering brain cells. ^_-
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