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fic - i backward cast my e'e part 21 [novella] - the turnip patch
version 2.0
fic - i backward cast my e'e part 21 [novella]
Title:  I Backward Cast My E'e
Part:  21
Note:  As close as I'm likely to get to dela_sonrisa's prompt of 'studying in order to be prepared for studying'.

I Backward Cast My E'e
sequel-lite to for promis'd joy
Part 21

Heero leaned back in his seat at the kitchen table and arched his back in a small stretch.  "Howard?"

"Yeah, kid?"

"Could you please tell Duo what a smart boy he is?  And reassure him that he has nothing to worry about?"

"Thought that was your job?"

"I think I've said it too many times already.  He's not paying attention to me anymore."

Howard snorted.  "Hey, brat," he directed at the other person sitting at the kitchen table.  "Listen to your boyfriend, would ya?"

Duo blew a raspberry in his direction.  "Geez, he fed you the lines and everything, and you still couldn't be bothered to say them?  That's when you know you're really unloved."

"I've got important things to do, brat!"  He gestured in the direction of the TV, currently running a commercial.  "Besides, if you didn't listen to him say it the first hundred times, I don't think anything I can say will help."

Duo pushed the laptop away from him a bare inch in defiance.  "I'm not worrying about anything.  I'm just 'preparing'."

Heero shut the laptop halfway to remove it partially from his line of sight, and not coincidentally draw Duo's attention away from it.  "You're burning through all of your coolness cred, you know."

"But I'm bulking up on my nerd cred, so shut up."  He crossed his arms petulantly as he sat back in his chair.

"Is this because it's your first interview?"

"Oh, like you've had sooooo many of them."

Howard recognized that obstinate tone of voice.  "You enjoy wasting your breath, do you, kid?"

Heero spared him a glance before returning his focus to Duo.  "You know what you know, and you don't know what you don't know."  He gestured toward the computer.  "Scouring the internet for anything that might possibly be relevant isn't going to help you much."

"You don't know what they're looking for.  Maybe they want someone who keeps up with all the latest advances in whatever."

"Maybe you can just emphasize what a hard worker you are, which hasn't left you with as much time as you'd like to keep up with all the latest advances, but just as soon as you have the opportunity to figure out the most efficient way to do that, you'll be happy to do so, because goshdarnit, you're really into all this stuff and want to keep current with the technology."

"'Goshdarnit'?  I wanna impress them with my boy-next-door-hood or what?"

"You want to impress them with your interest."

"Geez, someone's been reading off the career center website."

"I have an interview coming up, too, you know."

Howard poked his nose into the conversation again.  It was an item of interest, as well as an opportunity to delay his nephew's next undoubtedly sullen retort.  "Oh, hey, you made it, kid?"

"Yeah... Sorry I didn't make the same kind of announcement about it that Duo did."

Duo made a fairly disrespectful sound.  "I was showing my 'interest', jerk."

"I think it helps when they're around to see it."

"Yeah?  Career center say that?"

"Why don't you browse their site for yourself?  They have a list of commonly asked questions."

"I know why a manhole cover is round, thanks."  An eyeroll accompanied his words.

"They actually have questions targeted for our various industries," Heero answered, doggedly persistent in his patience.  "They may or may not be useful, but at least I know I looked at them.  If I don't get the job, it won't be because I didn't look at them."

"If I don't get the job, it could well be because the interview guy didn't like my shirt that day.  Maybe he's cranky 'cuz he's trying to quit smoking, or maybe he's a real stickler for 'the way things ought to be'.  It could be anything!  There's no way to know what it is that will knock you out of the running."

"Which means that there's nothing you can do to prepare for those issues.  Which means there's no point in stressing out over things that are out of your control."

"Who's stressing out?  I am not stressing out."  The tension in his tone perhaps contradicted his claim.  "I'm just covering my bases.  Guy can't even poke around the internet a little?"

"Guy can't just wonder what you're all worked up about?  I've watched you give your project presentation without a single stumble, so it can't be the talking aspect.  I've watched you eat dinner with one hand and finish your fluids homework with the other, so it can't be the thinking aspect.  I've watched you be totally fine with walking away from people who don't like you for who or what you are, so it can't be the... whatever you would call that aspect.  Judgment aspect?  What's left?"

"This is slightly more important than school work, Yuy."

"Maybe.  Maybe not."  Heero shrugged philosophically.  "Last I heard, this was a goal that sprang up relatively recently.  I know you want this job, but it's not like your life's dream... is it?"

Duo sighed, half with exasperation, half with frustration.  "I want this job, Heero.  I want... I want you to get your job.  I..."

"Hey."  Heero nudged Duo's foot with his own.  "We talked about this, didn't we?  Even if one of us doesn't make it, or if neither of us makes it... we're still good.  The plan works either way."

"Well, yeah...."  His eyes dropped to the kitchen table briefly, as if he could see through the surface and visually confirm Heero's foot stroking the top of his.  "But it works out best if we both make it.  That would make it awesome."

Heero's toes curled momentarily around his ankle.  It made a good counterpoint to Heero's gentle smirk.  "We're not awesome enough as it is?"

"You're awesome."  His unfondled foot got in on the action and tangled with the others.  It was a few seconds before he became aware of the goofy smile on his face.  He shook it off and turned to his uncle instead.  "Hey, we're official, yanno?  After graduation, we're, uh... 'co-habitating'."

Howard twirled a finger in the air unexcitedly.  "The only thing that surprises me about that is the fact that you two actually had to talk about it."

"Talking is good," Heero said in their defense.  "It gives me the opportunity to smack Duo on the back of the head and remind him we're good.  We got things covered."

"Hmm, maybe I oughta try that 'talking' thing once in a while..."

Duo kicked Heero lightly in the shin, although his words were directed at his uncle.  "As if you ever needed a reason to smack me, old man."

"As if you haven't given me plenty of reasons to smack you.  Not like I gotta make 'em up on my own."

Heero spoke up in case there was an implication of cheating on his part.  "I'm not making my reasons up."

Duo's attention swiveled back in his direction.  "Whoa, hey, I don't think I'm really into the whole smacking thing."

"Huh?"  It was only after Duo smirked in that peculiar way he had when there was a sexual undertone running through something that Heero put two and two together.  "Oh.  I'm pretty sure I'm not, either."

"You sure?  You sounded rather interested in the smacking a few seconds ago."

"Me, Duo?  Really?  I'm probably going to be as vanilla as humanly possible, remember?"

"We'll see about that."  His foot slid up Heero's leg and into new territory.

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9 comments or Leave a comment
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 9th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Damn! They are just so adorable! ^____^ That's the best I can manage around my desire to just squeee like crazy. A-dor-a-ble!

turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm, I remember saying I was going to aim for a different adjective at some point... =)
lavendarlizard From: lavendarlizard Date: June 9th, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think I've killed "cute" with overuse... Adorable is probably next. ^____^

salmastryon From: salmastryon Date: June 9th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
heeeee :)
I can so relate to that just mindlessly running your gears like duo is doing though.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 9th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, now if only we had a Heero to knock us out of our ruts. <3
sunhawk16 From: sunhawk16 Date: June 10th, 2010 12:37 am (UTC) (Link)
Howard is just so... take-it-in-stride. *grin* I like your Howard, perhaps not as adorable as the boys, but still pretty darn cool. ^^;
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 10th, 2010 12:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Howard's ready to hand Duo over to Heero and retire from this whole parenting gig with a margarita in hand. ^o^
dela_sonrisa From: dela_sonrisa Date: June 14th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Awesome! I saw that you posted and had to start reading everything again from the beginning.

I think that Duo's nervous energy in waiting to hear about the internship is ridiculously endearing.
turnippatch From: turnippatch Date: June 14th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
This bit on meta-studying is probably a bit too late for it to be of any scientific interest to you, assuming your exams are done with by now, but better late than never. ^_^v

Duo's more or less done with stressing about his relationship... he's more or less done with stressing over Elizabeth... he has to have something he can stress over! ^o^
9 comments or Leave a comment